Firehouse Exhibit In Newburyport Explores Gender, Age, and Identity

Expressionist artist, Diana Zipeto, studied painting and illustration at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Her folded paper portraits have been shown in the Ceres Gallery in NYC, the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans, and numerous Massachusetts galleries.  In 2017, she received an artist grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to curate “Women Looking at Women”, an art exhibit by and about female artists.

Diana lives in Lowell, MA, and works in Lowell’s energizing artist community at Western Avenue Studios.

Artist Statement by Diana Zipeto:  “My still life portraits investigate issues of women’s empowerment and changing identity. These paintings express women’s strength and struggle for equality in the 21st century. Starting with paper photographs of women, I fold, tear, and crumple the images to give them a new 3rd dimension, communicating both disruption and resilience. I make large paintings of the fragile paper constructions to fix transitional moments in a solid form.”

“As an American female raised in the 1980s, I have always experienced women’s cultural identity in the midst of powerful and controversial transition. My paintings describe the unique possibility and uncertainty of that experience. Distorting photographs of women disrupts our conditioned first responses – ugly/pretty, young/old – and their associated value judgments. Being able to clearly see the subject’s eyes shows her insistence on engaging with the world and the burden that engagement can cause. What is women’s new cultural identity? What can we be? We are in a time where that is still in flux and constantly under siege. My work shows there is purpose in changing what is possible for women, but also an exhaustion that must remain mostly hidden in order to continue forward.”

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