Bay area painter Sita Rupe is a multi-talented artist who also sculpts, silkscreens, designs and photographs to create beautiful collages of Americana. She creates iconic images that recall a bygone era of lively conversations in sun-baked kitchens that stand in the mind with an immediate, almost brutal force. Her craft is executed using clear formal technique: precision, finish and style. There is no chaos or distortion here – only lively play, light days and new beginnings.
Rupe’s multi-layered work can also be somber as it leads the viewer to experience melancholy, due perhaps to the purity of her lines contrasted with the sentimental tones of her chosen background textures, which are colorful, kitschy – almost carnival. The images seem to be taken from the ephemera of a place that never was, with references to pop culture on several levels.
Her mechanical mark-making sits simply yet powerfully atop her appealing backgrounds, which themselves are inspired by 50s and 60s pop décor. Using screens of written, drawn or clipped material, she creates a world where lightheartedness rules and memory is created. The audience can relate to her images – the skip-rope scene, the trusty bicycle and so on – because they represent the archetypal American experience.
The thematically-interrelated material of Rupe’s collected work projects itself into the viewer’s mind. It stamps itself there, as if it had already been in place. A fictional and experiential universe emerges bit by bit – a recalled universe of funky halftone and velvet whimsy.
More of Sita’s collages of Americana can be found on her website. Find more great local art suggestions from the bay area, Chicago and New York, check out our Featured Blog and sign up for our Weekly Newsletter.