Pioneers of Color: The Paintings of Margalit Romano

Pioneers of Color: The Paintings of Margalit Romano

 

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by Lucy Smith

“My favorite thing about art is that it changes with every artist. That’s what inspires me.”

Margalit Romano isn’t afraid of color. Her wide range of mixed media pieces show that she has a command of varying materials and methods, ranging from drip painting, sculpture and even glitter work. Romano’s message is simple and direct, creating pieces that are complex and beautiful.

lastMargalit Romano lives in West Long Branch, New Jersey, just a short drive from where she grew up in Brooklyn near Sheepshead bay. Living adjacent to the ocean, Romano fell in love with the landscape. Going to the beach became her gateway into creating what she found around her. “I love creating and looking at things in a new way. I grew up going to Coney Island every weekend. I loved being at the beach, and I loved making things with whatever I had available (which at the time was mostly sand).”

Romano studied at Brooklyn College where she got her Bachelors in Art History. She never had any formal art training. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and I certainly had never thought that I wanted to be an artist. I knew I loved creating, I just didn’t have a title for it. Before I studied art, I had a lot of preconceptions of what it was supposed to be. What my major taught me is that each artist found a technique and made it their own.” Romano started experimenting with painting outside of class, which over the next few years evolved into her fulltime job. “I was discouraged in school because I felt limited. I was very inspired when I left because I finally had the freedom to do what I wanted.”

45Romano has narrowed her work into a few different methods and styles. One of them is her Striation Series, where she abstains from using tape or brushes, but lets the paint drip using control and gravity. This is where Romano’s work becomes also about process, which is vital. Each Striation painting uses countless combinations of colors. “I love color. Color is the most inspiring thing to me. Each shade of will look different when it’s placed next to another one and there are unlimited options. I love to play with that idea.” Romano’s Striations are popular with buyers because of their clean lines and bright colors. “I think people are afraid of color. With my paintings you can get the color without the commitment on the wall. I want to deliver color to people who are afraid of it, and afraid of that commitment.”

painting-the-roses-red-1Most artists shy away from materials like glitter, but not Romano. One of her pieces is made entirely of glitter. Her work forces you to look and keep looking. “Once the glitter covered the whole canvas, it became its own thing. It stops being about something for kids or crafting. I’m interested in changing perspectives about what art is supposed to be.” She finds most of her clients using social media outlets like Instagram. She has a lot of private residential commissions, which is where her Striations are most popular, but she does a series titled Flora as well. Romano uses a mixture of epoxy resin and acrylic paint to give the flowers a very tactile look so they are begging to be touched. “For the flower pieces, I wanted there to be texture. I wanted something that you could touch, and have a desirable tactile quality, without it being messy. It was a process for me to figure out the right materials for what I wanted. Once I had the idea in my head, it took a lot of time to perfect it. I want people to look at my work see that organic painterly feeling. I want them to see the way that it’s done.”

striationmulti-1Currently, Romano’s work is on display at the Jersey Shore Medical Center. She worked with children to create a series of mounted blocks (her Blocks series) all varying in aesthetic and color. The goal with this project for JSMC was a large scale project that could involve the teens at the hospital. “The Jersey Shore Medical piece is in the teen’s wing and it was important to me that they have a hand in this as well.”

Romano mostly works with acrylic paint, but never wants to be limited to just that. Whatever medium inspires her will be the medium she uses. “To put myself in a certain category where I will only use these paints and these materials and these subjects is not what my work is about.”

striationrainbowRomano started to incorporate makeup as part of her art, using the stripe patterns in her work for a facial visual effect. “It’s a way for me to be a part of the work, and exploring collaborations with others.” Bridging that gap between the art and the artist is something that Romano will continue to explore. “Every artist goes through a learning process for how to get their voice across. That is what inspires me in my own work.”

Learn more about Margalit Romano by visiting her website http://margalitromano.com/ and checking out her instagram @margalitarts

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