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Alice Gong - Artist of the Month

With our summer views flourishing and vaccines rolling out, it feels appropriate to share last months Artist of the Month. Alice Gong (She/Her), has been immersed in a creative environment ever since she was young. She first enrolled in an accounting program before returning to her initial passion for the fine arts. Gong has always been organized and particular about details, and grew up with a fascination for tiny objects. These characteristics of hers are reflected in the quality of the petit paintings she creates. The scale of her work was initially inspired by a lack of space in her apartment and access to materials, but later evolved in the core foundation of her practice.


With scale of her paintings, alongside her comfort in control and predictability, Gong pursued realism paintings within 4” x 4” paintings. The small and incredibly detailed paintings emphasize the delicacy of the world around us, and cast a gentle reminder to appreciate peaceful moments in our hectic lives.










Alley, 2020

Acrylic on Wood

4” x 4”

NFS


Alice manipulates light sources in her paintings with such ease. In this case, your eyes are probably drawn right to the glowing street light, as it radiates the alleyway. For Alice however, her attention is focused on the slight reflection of blue on the pavement. Even in this naturally dark space illuminated by such a warm artificial light, we get to see this small source of unknown blue light. It was already so late in the night when Alice saw this so she headed home, but she knew she wanted recreate this moment.



Golden, 2020

Acrylic on Wood

4” x 4”

$250


With these cotton candy clouds, Alice has painted a scene that reminded her of how beautiful the world can be. The evening colours and sun-lit clouds resonated with her, making her she could fly up and witness their softness up close. But ahead of the beautiful scene sits the stark power lines and pole, acting like a fence or cage between us and beauty. They restrict Alice from fully embracing nature, but also create this static moment between the natural and artificial parts of our earth.



Slow, 2020

4” x 4”

Acrylic on Wood

NFS


This large shed-like structure is in a laneway that Alice often passes on her way to the subway station. Typically this area is dark with no lights, but on this day the crooked door was left ajar with an orange light shining from within.


The light emitted a powerful warmth against the dim evening, creating an atmosphere of the space Alice hadn’t seen before. The ‘Slow’ sign next to the door then became this pleasant coincidence, as if someone was telling her to slow down and appreciate the beauty of this moment.



Streetlight at Sunset

4” x 4”

Acrylic on Wood

NFS


Streetlight’s and power lines reoccur in Alice’s paintings, as most of them take place within the suburbs or Toronto. In this piece however, the streetlights act as a nostalgic reminder. In her youth, Alice often played in the neighbourhood parks until the street lights turned on. Once those lights came on Alice knew she needed to go home. The lights became a way to guide her home safely and now remind her of a more carefree time in her life.



Delicate Delicacy, 2019

Acrylic on Canvas

18” x 18”

NFS


This is one of Alice’s ‘normal-sized’ artworks that is heavily conceptual, versus her usual photorealism. It became a piece for Alice to break from her comfort zone and work with a larger canvas.


Alice always works with references of her own photograph’s, but with this piece she created something surreal – a cracking lemon with an egg and honey inside. Initially inspired by a lemon, Alice’s goal was to combine the outside fleshy peel with the delicate, brittle texture of eggshells. She also wanted to have an egg dropping into the shell, but changed it to honey as an amusing take on honey-lemon tea.


Crab Apple Flowers, 2020

4” x 4”

Acrylic on Wood

$200


Another small beauty that Alice recreates in her paintings are these delicate florals. This piece mostly became about challenging her own technical skills, but during the winter Alice found herself for an essence of spring.



Kanzan Cherry Blossoms, 2020

Acrylic on Wood

4” x 4”

NFS


As another technical skill exercise, Alice spent about a month on this piece while she tried to perfect the colours of transparency – a feat that she was clearly successful in.


Our month with Alice has been just as intimate as her paintings. Her work continues to serve a reminder to us all to enjoy the small things in life, especially during a time when we don’t have the comfort and luxury we are used to.




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