Finley is based in both New York and Rome and is currently the artist in residence at the Gai Mattiolo fashion house. She has exhibited internationally and approaches art-making with an inspiring optimism. AOL Artists chatted with C.Finley about her inspiration, contrasting art scenes and her new projects:
What was the inspiration for your canvases?
My inspiration comes from the integrity of women's work. These particular pieces relate to traditional American patchwork quilt units, mandalas and the rain containing the universe.
What was your favorite part about collaborating with AOL Artists?
The challenge to create something unique, colorful and uplifting that could potentially reach millions.
What was the inspiration behind your Wallpapered dumpster project?
I worked in the film industry as a set decorator and scenic painter. I collected wallpaper from various shoots. I was trying to figure out how to use this material when I was asked to participate in an installation at the port of Los Angeles. I worked in a forty-foot container for an entire week. The quantity of goods imported through the port of L.A. is astounding. The containers were all earth-toned so I wanted to disrupt this mono-tonality by wallpapering one with a baroque pattern. Then a few weeks later a friend let me wallpaper his studio dumpster. That's how it began.
Describe the difference between the art scene in NYC vs. Rome.
Night and Day! New York is fast, competitive, and wild whereas Roma has its own pace. Being neighbors with Bernini, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, among others, I feel challenged to create meaningful, great work. And the language barrier helps to keep me from being distracted by the world outside of my studio practice.
Can you tell us about any new upcoming projects?
I am currently creating a large-scale installation that is a psychedelic patchwork quilt created out of holographic materials. This will also include new paintings and photographs and will be a set for a series of photographs as well as a blue print for a future museum show proposal. It is immersive and viewers photograph themselves and their friends for social networking. Ultimately the viewer becomes the most beautiful part of the artwork. The holographic material creates a beautiful light for framing people.
What are your greatest sources of inspiration in general?
Strong powerful inspiring women, being on the forefront of thinking, and color, color, color!
We are thrilled to have C.Finley's artwork debut on AOL.com as a closing for Women's History Month. Click on one of her six canvases to make it your background on AOL.com today: Raindrop, Triangle of Forces, Rangoli, Bel Fiore, Violet Island, or Peacock Eyes.