Sara Conca is an American contemporary abstract artist whose work can be found in museums, public installations, hotel lobbies, celebrity homes, and private collections around the world. Her colorful paintings celebrate light, movement, and healing, using layered natural materials and textures to create immersive and constantly renewing landscapes.
Conca creates her signature mixed media paintings in a unique way: she paints in reverse on the back of a sheet of acrylic, building the image from foreground to background in careful layers. This technique requires an intuitive and meditative approach, which she often attains by painting en plen aire https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_plein_air . Conca’s art incorporates unconventional materials like raw silver dust, 18k gold leafing, raw color pigments, mica flakes, natural crystals, and even crushed BB pellets. Through this unique technique and material, Conca is able to create a metallic and painted “flecked texture” that instills her images with an exceptionally dynamic radiance. Each piece’s appearance changes significantly according to its surrounding light, the movement and position of its viewer, and other environmental factors, making for an ever-evolving and highly individual viewing experience.
In Conca’s words:
My work is intended to instantaneously immerse the viewer into the visual and emotional energies that I have devoted to each piece. Depending on one’s ability and willingness to be guided by the senses, these paintings can lead one away from the mind and into an alternate and self-made reality filled with color and freedom. My new series features blues. I love working with this color because it changes in the light by manipulating the textures and layering with silver dust or gold, affording each piece continuous movement and energy from the reflecting and refracting light.
Conca’s dynamic art reflects her varied life and background. Descended from late-Baroque Italian painter Sebastiano Conca, whose work is on permanent exhibition at the Louvre and the Getty, Conca showed artistic talent early on. At 17, Conca was accepted at the Ateliers D’Art De St. Maur Des Fosses in Paris, France. There she received critical acclaim for her sculpture and drew inspiration from the movement and energy of the city’s art scene. As her artwork progressed and matured, she was accepted as an assistant of the critically lauded artist Purvis Young.
After Paris, Conca took up both painting and modeling, turning both paths into remarkable careers. She was able to fully support herself as a painter in Manhattan while working closely with fashion icons such as Ralph Lauren. “[Modeling with Ralph Lauren] was instrumental in training my eye,” Conca states. “Fashion and fine art are both about beauty and balance.” Her nearly 20 years in New York City as well as her extensive travels gave her a further appreciation for ever-changing environments and heavily influenced her style.
Now, Conca has returned to her southern Florida roots. She looks to the natural, aquatic landscape of her rural home for inspiration for her current and future work.