(Thousand Oaks, Ca) Daggi Wallace revealed her art collective “Resilient Women: The Art of Daggi Wallace” at the Kwan Fong Gallery at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA. This show stayed open from May 5 through August 9, 2018.
Wallace has won numerous awards in national and international exhibitions. She is a painter and pastel artist and member of the Studio Channel Islands Community.
This exhibit displays a selection of her most recent pieces of work, which includes portrayals of women, the Berlin Wall, interactions with water and pieces inspired by the #MeToo movement.
Wallace typically uses charcoal and pastel in her art. She discovered her love for these after the timing with watercolor was often interrupted by her children.
“I haven’t looked back. I love it,” Wallace says of painting with pastel. She also began experimenting with added mixed mediums such as acrylic and metal leaf.
“I do still-life and some landscapes but really hardly at all anymore…. My first love was always portraits and figures,” Wallace says.
Popular themes in her art are family, self-reflection, ancestors, strength, angels, being silenced and walls.
Wallace was born in Berlin, Germany. Because of this, a large part of her showcase features the Berlin Wall, which also represents the figurative walls she has experienced in her life.
“The wall thing kept popping up,” Wallace says, “and I looked and I was like ‘oh, you know, this is a running theme in my life.’ Now there’s talk about building a wall here [in America], and I thought hmm, I grew up with one.”
The wall section of her showcase is designed to flow into the water section, seemingly as a metaphor for being freed from the restrictions in one’s life.
The water represents personal growth and renewal. Wallace relates it to being able to “dive more freely into the deep end of life” after immigration.
The Silence of the Lamb pieces were inspired by the last debate before the recent presidential election, when President Trump “was kind of standing over [Clinton] in the back…and interrupting her. I was shocked at how much that triggered me.”
Daggi experienced sexual harassment and abuse and felt compelled to speak up after the #MeToo movement.
“I know that type of man,” She continued. “It made me so angry, you know, that this was being so accepted. I mean, so many women: we all know this.”
Using herself for her portraits has never been her preference. She uses women in her life as her models, such as her daughters, nieces and friends.
“I’ll be at a coffee shop and I’ll go ‘can I paint you?’ Wallace says. “Sometimes that happens.”
One of her favorite projects was a series she did in Haiti in 2010. It was a non-profit Wallace named after her mother: Moni’s kids. The tagline was ‘making the invisible visible.’
This involved painting portraits of the children who most likely would never have the chance to have their portraits painted.
The children were able to create a drawing as a background for their portraits; this enabled them to collaborate on the piece. The earnings went towards their education.
The show has received excellent responses.
“They are responding to the personal story behind these pieces. They get to know the artist a little bit, I guess,” Wallace laughs, “As painful as it can be.”
Wallace likes her recent political pieces; Many of these address racism, sexism and misogyny.
“I’m going to keep speaking out in my way,” Wallace says firmly.
Wallace does portrait commissions, teaches weekly studio painting classes and oversees several workshops. Her studio at Studio Channel Islands Art Center is also open to the public each first Saturday of the month from 11-3.
These resources can be further inquired upon at daggistudio.com.
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