Clare Stokolosa is an astute observer of the passing scene, visually writing stories about strangers on the train or Tuscan landscapes. She does these sympathetically, with honesty and a discerning eye.
Her new works are large and demand attention, then ask the viewer to supply a narrative – stories that extend past the rectangle’s boundary and into the viewer’s world.
Clare’s recent series, New York City Faces, began simply with her sketches of other riders on the subway. When expanded to larger than life dimensions, these sketchy drawings became forceful, lively and complete, with added watercolor washes defining shapes like stained glass objects: a brown bag, a red shirt or a green book.
Both line and color look spontaneous and are complementary – sharp clear lines contrasting with expressively brushed watercolor. Paintings made for her Italian Landscape Series were similarly begun as sketches then painted with watercolor, giving each a whimsical atmospheric effect.
Looking at Clare’s work, I was reminded of two great artists.
Her characters are reminiscent of Daumier’s lithographs, but instead of his bristling critique of the social and political elite, Stokolosa’s paintings are sympathetic to all. They show everyday people doing everyday things – talking animatedly, lying on a train or reading a book. They are caricatures in the best sense of the word.
Another artist who comes to mind is Chagall. Where Chagall told stories from his Russian Jewish roots, Clare Stokolosa draws
inspiration from her Italian heritage and Astoria childhood. Her work shows a familiarity with New Yorkers, but also the Italian villages she visits each year, and a love of both.
Clare Stokolosa is a romantic realist, painting the prose of the street – poetically.
Artist, Master Printmaker