Female Pentimento

Female Pentimento conjures mystic portals that lead to personal wonder

Female Pentimento summons liminal portals to apocalyptic ecstasy, fairytale daydreams and irreversible escapism. They blast saturated white beams more powerful than a spotlight; more sacred than a burst of sunlight at the end of the rain. They draw from human experiences, seemingly projecting the artist’s personal encounters at times, and lend support to viewers by digitally opening new doors for their worries and fantasies. Female Pentimento’s nurturing principles have harvested a tight-knit community whose eyes for art are satiated, ears for wise words quenched, and minds for optimism fed. 

The New York-based visual artist positions herself as virtual holy water solidified by her purpose in this lifetime to impart beauty and hope through words, images and music. She finds her self-design in bringing positivity into the double-tap realm to be a constant spring of inspiration for her followers to lap up. Her unearthly visuals reap the seduction for optimism. Her floating palm-sized butterflies pocket luck that guides people out of their limbo thoughts and toward a deep sense of calm. Her multi-winged phoenix brings the prophecy that whoever holds their gazes at its orb of light shall be gifted with prosperity, in a way that it has never entered their lives before.

Every image she creates even comes with a short caption that offers itself as a mantra for manifestation. I protect my inner landscape from all harm, forever. I no longer scare myself with my own thoughts. The most miraculous things happen to me, and I am in awe of all the incredible experiences that enter my life.And when the sinews of my thoughts tear, the miracle I need comes gently into view.

For NR, she lets our readers in on her light-filled purpose and life that ranges from art to music.

What were your earliest memories of art?

I think on some level I’ve always wanted to do something with the arts. As a child, I was mesmerised by the piano, and later down the line, painting. I didn’t truthfully grow up with a ton of art influence around me though, outside some of the obvious avenues, like cartoons and anime. 

My earliest memory of encountering fine art is when I was in 6th grade and my mom brought home prints of Ansel Adam’s work. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but that was likely the gateway to me dialoguing with artwork in a more critical and meaningful way. 

How did you come up with the moniker ‘Female Pentimento’?

For me, the power of having a stage name is that it gives me permission to explore a new heart dimension without being constrained to what I already think I know about myself. My ultimate intention is for the name to touch on this idea of revealing hidden aspects of oneself, just as a pentimento in art refers to the reappearance of earlier layers of paint.

In this context, the female’ aspect of the name emphasises the idea of a feminine presence, revealing parts of the self that were previously hidden. I hope to others ‘female pentimento’ suggests a sense of uncovering and reemergence with a focus on the experiences and perspectives of a feminine energy. 

As for the history behind it, I was brainstorming ideas of what I wanted my moniker to be and I kept returning to Picasso’s ‘The Old Guitarist’. In the work we know today, we see the iconic, downtrodden figure of a man in anguish — however, underneath the image is an original underpainting of an unnamed woman breastfeeding a child in a much more lush, idyllic scene.

“I always thought that relationship made for an interesting metaphor around my own gender identity and mental environment.”

Tell me about your journey to light becoming your source of visual inspiration. 

Over time, light has just become an instinctive element I’ve been drawn to. Since I started focusing on photography, I’ve been interested in all sorts of different natural phenomena including sunlight, lightning and rainbows.

I love how symbolically loaded these elements are throughout cultures and art history. I find light (and nature) a universally understood language that doesn’t have all the conceptual red tape that other subject matters have. One could look at a photograph of a wildfire stretched across a landscape, teeming with wildlife, and know instinctively how to feel about it.

Many, many creatives have influenced my present work, and the lots of visionary artists that come immediately to mind are Agnes Pelton, Hilma af Klint, Belkis Ayon — the list goes on and on. 

How was your environment growing up?

Growing up, my environment was a bit chaotic. I was raised in a single-parent household in a small southern town in Virginia. We moved around a decent amount as my mother was a minister, and the church relocated us regionally every couple of years.

I imagine anywhere I grew up would have been a challenge for me. When I was young, I was a very sensitive and shy child. I used to see those attributes as more of a liability, but as I get older I revere the tender and reserved parts of me the most.

Do you see your works as touching upon religion, faith, or both?

I think the first part of the question is for the viewer to decide. What I can tell you though is that when I’m creating, I borrow a great deal of inspiration from different religions and spiritual practices like, but not limited to, interconnectedness, spreading kindness and advocating for mindfulness.

As for my personal practice, I’ve been describing myself recently as a biospiritualist, which is an ideology that posits that the biological is inherently intertwined with the metaphysical. 

How does nature empower you as an artist?

It’s the catalyst, the subject, and the artist in my mind. I don’t think I’ve created any recent work that doesn’t bow deeply to the natural world.

“I see our earth as the ultimate wellspring of inspiration.”

What’s your inspiration for making portals that seem to be passages to unearthly worlds?

Portals are probably one of the most magical elements I experiment with in my images. Sometimes, they border on the fantastical (or unbelievable) end of the spectrum, but I think living in a para-reality is often the job of an artist. That is, thinking beyond what you know to exist and imagining a world of what could be. I like the idea of living in that space of potentiality full-time; it keeps me curious. 

Do these portals symbolise a form of escape from reality?

Certainly. In some instances, portals convey the idea of transitioning from one realm to another, offering a way out of the physical world. In others, I find it fascinating to reimagine myself as the light source or portal, and to consider what it would be like to exist in a non-corporeal form. 

How do you come up with the often inspirational and reflective captions behind your visual works?

The captions I attach to my images often stem from phrases and ideas that I feel compelled to remind myself of. They are often direct affirmations that I use to uplift and empower myself. Through these words, I hope to offer others a similar source of comfort, hope, and inspiration.

I’d also add that I’ve been deeply influenced by authors such as Jack Kornfield, Louise Hay, and Marianne Williamson to name a few, who have shaped my understanding of the power of affirmations and positive thinking. They have inspired me to craft mantras that not only accompany my visuals but also uplift and empower those who encounter them.

Do you see yourself as a guardian of light, both visually and linguistically?

Over the last few years, I’ve felt strongly that my calling in this lifetime is to impart beauty and hope to the world.

I trust in my ability to live up to that goal. I know I can do it.

“Whether through words, images, or music, I think my greatest purpose may be to bring positivity into the lives of others and be a source of ongoing inspiration.”


Artworks · Courtesy of female pentimento

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