By Lucia Viti
Hillcrest artist’s work is spiritual
Stacy D’Aguiar titles her work as “unreal art.” Unreal yes. But without question, amazing, startling, remarkable, breathtaking and otherworldly also describe her canvas, metal and wood works that are exhibited in galleries throughout the United States.
Human figures, animals, nature, and ambiguous shapes and patterns swirl in what the Hillcrest resident describes as “dream-like settings to invite viewers into a sacred space of stillness.” Those sacred spaces transcend the norm.
Inspired by the surreal, D’ Aguiar marries the ethereal with “things that don’t go well together” to create “spiritual” illusions. Covering a wide range of the conceptual and concrete, she offers a surprising diversity of reality and conjecture. Movie stars and earthscapes sidle breathtaking and “all-subject” consuming “creations.”
“I like creating illusions,” she said. “I like to express magical elements and present sacred spaces.”
D’Aguiar divides her work into categories of the abstract and the surreal. Abstracts are noted as design-oriented art that concentrates on the difference between color and texture. Aluminum and steel are used as reflective surfaces to instigate contrast. Texture is added as sculpture.
“Aluminum adds a reflective quality to my work that changes the way the painting looks at different times of the day,” she said.
Surreal work is described as spiritual in nature “incorporating people and animals in a dreamlike setting.”
“I like combining animals, people and objects that don’t necessarily go together,” she continued. “Anything is possible in the dream state. Animals and people can do the impossible — fish can swim through the air.”
The Washington D.C. native laces her art with the spiritual.
“Every piece is infused with reiki healing energy, a universal healing technique, and sacred geometry, symbols that energetically elevate each magical creation to fill the room with positivity, peace and tranquility,” she explained. “Specifically, sacred geometry is a term used to describe patterns, shapes and forms that occur within the make-up of all living things. Sacred geometry is a system of universal design in which the energy of creation organizes itself into form.”
Sacred geometry can be found in the background of her work as texturing and patterning it is, at times, a “subliminal visual element — invisible texture that can’t be readily seen.”
The reiki healing master uses reiki healing energy to elevate the vibration of her art. Each piece becomes a “peaceful healing” for the space in which it resides. Inspiration is sourced from the cosmos, universal oneness, time and Asian imagery.
“I believe that we’re all one,” she said. “I believe that we’re all connected. Synchronicity works. Life is driven by something I can’t name. I have a sense of the unseen. I have no clue what to expect when I die but I know that nothing is impermanent.”
Believing that matter is a combination of math, vibration and sound, D’Aguiar taps into her love of nature, flowers, butterflies, birds and the Om meditation symbol (a lotus flower) for creativity. Imagination and “visions” yield a search for photographing imagery. Photoshop follows suit as a “basic layout for a direction.” Images are printed and drawn on canvas or metal.
“I know the color schemes and details of what I want to paint before I start, but even more happens as I paint,” she continued. “Drip markets and happy accidents are added. The painting always looks different than the printed layout. I’m guided to do things not pre-planned. Ideas spark. But I know when a painting’s complete. Once I’m finished I sometimes cry. I just don’t know how I did it.”
D’Aguiar became a full-time artistic entrepreneur seven years ago after losing her job as a graphic designer. Taking a leap of faith, she apprenticed under Hillcrest resident and artist extraordinaire Liz Jardine. “Blessed” to have worked under Jardin’s tutelage, D’Aguiar insists that Jardine’s influence “catapulted” her into making a living as an artist. Nestled in the Art on 30th arts community in North Park surrounded by fellow artisans, she admits “I’m here more than anywhere.”
While she “paints every day all because I can’t see myself doing anything else,” D’Aguiar said life as an artist doesn’t feel like “work.”
“I’m blessed to do what I love every day,” she said. “Art is a calling. I was born to paint. And yet, I sometimes doubt my ability. I don’t know why. Pieces don’t always evolve the way I envisioned them. I even throw some things away. Nothing is always perfect.”
But for the most part, D’Aguiar’s finished products result from the fact that “everything flows.”
“The universe always makes it happen,” she added.
Supported by her parents to pursue art as a hobby, D’Aguiar remembers lectures that underscored the negative challenges of making a living as an artist. In response, she encourages everyone to support talented children.
“It’s a shame to see talented kids not encouraged for their talents,” she concluded. “I encourage everyone with a desire to create art to work. I advise younger artists to put your heart, mind and soul into your art. Believe that you can succeed. Never give up.”
—Contact Lucia Viti at email@example.com.