The Untitled Space is a New York art gallery located in Tribeca. As told by The Untitled Space, “Founded in 2015, the gallery features exhibits of emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The gallery is committing to exploring new ideas vis-à-vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of women in art.”.
Presented by The Untitled Space, Fahren Feingold’s “High on Life” is a collection inspired by “pure happiness”. The artist states that in the dark of the Coronavirus Pandemic, she strived to find happiness in the beauty that surrounded her–– “nature, solitude and deeper self-connection”. Fahren Feingold says, ” I sought to reconnect with the teachings of shamanic women and plant healers, who were and still are, shamed for their magical work with plants and energy healing. Invoking their companionship in my solitude I let their teaching and guidance heal me. I began to explore and appreciate the figurative forms found in nature and relative themes on my mind during this time.” Blush gained access to this beautiful collection of works, and was given the opportunity to interview Feingold on her art.
Inspiration Behind High on Life
When I asked Feingold how nature could have inspired her during a time where going outside might as well have been illegal, she responded:
“I didn’t have much of a choice in being alone, trying to find sanctuary in my solitude felt like survival at first. Finding small moments of joy by walking outside or sitting on my balcony were my first steps and then it became a mission. I was determined to make the most of this time and break myself open to heal, and not just from the pain of the pandemic, but from everything built up over the years. It was time to face everything, all the hurt that I had shut away so I could keep bearing down on life. Now was the time – to either heal and grow or shut down and become a puddle and wash away. So I started doing the work, with therapy and holistic nutrition, plant medicine and spending even more time in nature where I could. I focused on what brought me happiness and tried to tune out the noise from outside (which often meant turning off the news and social media). Sometimes I had no idea what was going on in the outside world, as a way of protecting my bubble, and it was the best thing I could have done.”
High on Life’s Wearable Art
This specific series also serves as the artist’s first wearable collection. The positive paintings were turned into t-shirts and scarves to cater as fashion and accessories. It allows one to take the positive message around with them when wearing it, rather than a piece being hung up inside. Possibly suggesting the idea that happiness should never be left at home?
When asked, “What about this specific collection made you feel it should be your first to include wearable art?” Feingold said:
“I wanted to see these happy positive paintings also be accessible to everyone. I felt these paintings really lent themselves to spreading positive energy beyond an art collector’s environment. People can wear these or gift them as an expression of their own unique style. These are great gifts for Mother’s Day or for yourself! Spread the happiness, positivity, and spark a conversation with wearable art that is a limited-edition collectible and connected to this exhibition of “High on Life” artwork.”
The Artist’s Top Picks
As the artist, there are two pieces that mean the post to Fahren Feingold.
“There are 2 paintings I really love. The first is ‘IT ME YOU’, which is the delicately watercolor painted word FUCK. How many times a day can you scream this word… FUCK IT! FUCK ME! FUCK YOU! I mean, I found myself saying it way too often, but truly it helped.”
“…the second painting is ‘IN THE DEEP MOSSY SOIL’. I took some time to explore and appreciate the healing properties of mushrooms and the magical things they can do for us and our planet. Their mycelium acts like an underground internet for different plants and trees. This enables trees to communicate and share nutrients with each other, and even protect themselves from unwelcome toxins. Not to mention the numerous health benefits
to us (boosting memory, protecting brain cells, providing natural energy, etc), and the big one which I explored during the pandemic: micro-dosing to treat anxiety and depression.”
After taking my time to deeply peruse and fully appreciate her collection, I determined my favorite piece was “Butterfly Kisses”. I am intrigued by the wings of the butterfly as there was obviously many different messages within them. As butterflies tend to have completely symmetrical wings, I found her watercolored depiction of the insect beautifully original.
I asked Feingold about this painting in particular and her response had me fall in love with the painting all over again.
“I created all the butterfly paintings with a lot of intention behind them. Each one has a great deal of hidden symbolic meanings. This particular one, “BUTTERFLY KISSES,” has 3 open eyes on each wing, with the bottom one crying. The long-lashed eyes are looking in different directions, seeking out love. The shapes next to the first eye on top represent fingers reaching out. Something I have found during this pandemic is that the emotional support one often needs -comes from within. And instead of trying to rely on others, I learned to ground myself and self-soothe. These fingers, like butterfly wings, I envision wrapping around myself and hugging me in my solitude, letting me know that while I might feel alone – the universe has my back. I’ve always heard that when you see a butterfly in nature, it’s a passed loved one visiting you. (I see a lot of butterflies and I always think of my late grandmother. As these eyes look around for love, I imagine my grandmother’s spirit returning that love with a sweet kiss on my forehead, and my longing for love is fulfilled. The butterfly’s antennae are in the shapes of outstretched hands, like a tiny angelic fairy might openly gesture. Another reminder that mother nature is offering love and support when we are open to receiving it.”
The Delicate Use of Watercolor
Watercolor is an artists’ paint made with a water-soluble binder such as gum arabic, and thinned with water rather than oil, giving a transparent color. According to Feingold, “Watercolors are one of the most difficult mediums to learn and master. Learning to let the water do what it will while still remaining in control, finding new materials such as inks and papers constantly adds new elements to the learning curve. So, while I have been working with watercolors for a quite a few years now, I feel like I still am constantly learning, and discovering new techniques.”
To see more of Fahren Feingold’s “High on Life” collection, visit The Untitled Space here.
You can also follow the artist and the exhibition space on Instagram: