Diane Cirafesi

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The studio is your lover, the one you long to embrace, return to, have words with, fall in love with again, daily.
Time spent away from it only confounds your love and desire to interact together, become intimate, share secrets and souls.
It shares its DNA with you in an incestuous and tumultuous affair of creation and history.
And no one truly understands the mystery and the force of your union.


I practice my soul and the compilation of my experiences on whatever paper or form will hold it.

To forever pursue an outward mark from an inward inkling is an accomplishment in and of itself.

It takes strength and magic and an unscratchable itch.

In the end, art is a solitary, personal and probably selfish experience, that exists intimately between the artist and the tools of the art.


Is it art if it's in a closet?

There is one aspect of my artwork in which I am rather like a bird. I gather things to bring back to construct my nest and art. The other day I found an empty cardinal’s nest in my Crown of Thorns shrub, which was crafted with a grocery list, colored string, even hair from my dog. The found objects in my work are similarly puzzle pieces to me...I am constantly looking down when I walk the streets of West Chester: there are jewels to be found. I consider most objects as sculpture and potential pieces to integrate into my work, whether 2-D or 3-D.  I carry these found objects home, catalogue them in my head, and create a visual cue for later implementation into the work.
I do not discard broken tools, implements, or pieces of metal, or bone. Objects that have an organic or tooled/hand-wrought essence to them particularly fascinate me. These are artifacts of our existence, of our hands, our culture. Placed correctly in a painting or an assemblage, they become religious icons, fetishes, voodoo, mystic. Always drawn to the ritual, I find a relationship between the sacred and the profane...divine objects occur within the most formalized religions and the primordial.  My method of breaking down the actual materials I use, and then breaking down the imagery, is part of the sacrifice of the hand of the artist making marks, part of my ritual of making art.

West Chester is a constant source of inspiration for me. I have 40 years + of West Chester [and beyond] street objets d’art in various forms in my work and in my nest. The found object has increasing found its way prominently into my art. I’m not sure that many people know that this town has a serious sub-culture of artists who are not of the Brandywine Tradition, per se; and while we all respect the difference, we still cannot escape the flavor. For me, I think this displays itself in the organic sensibility of my work. My particular block and surrounding few blocks were fondly referred to as “Little Soho” by those of us in the area. Clay artists, painters, metal sculptors....and not one of us of the Chester County barn and bucket brand.


So how many times has this happened: you are in the midst of, within the very walls of your own exhibit, and someone who claims artist status racks you at your own game, endeavors to overtake you and rob you of your wind, with their prattle, with their uninterrupted prattle about their own work, obliterating all other converse, sucking the breath and breadth of the surrounds, over which they have no power, but will be damned if they won't try to usurp it.

selected bibliography













Duo/Solo companion contemporary show, Unseated, opposite Chester County Art Association Founders Show, including NC Wyeth / October 2015

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