Paradise and Purgatory Exhibition
The artwork that was most eye-catching for me in the Paradise and
Purgatory Exhibition was Steven Rooney’s 2008 oil on canvas piece titled
Britney. I was drawn in by the size of the canvas and the colorful,
abstractive flow of brush strokes. Rooney used a blend of blues, grays,
yellows, and reds as well as basic black and white to create his image.
When I saw the painting I immediately had questions, which I think is a
good sign of a successful piece. I began to wonder who Britney was and if
she had a significant role in his life. Was she his girlfriend, sister, or
just a stranger? In Rooney’s biography he explained that he was inspired by
his hometown New Orleans, Louisiana. He found its imperfections beautiful
and made his brushstrokes as spontaneous as he thought his hometown was.
Steven Rooney was one of my TA’s last semester so it was really fun to see
his work. It’s always fun to see artist’s style of painting, especially
when you have the opportunity to meet them and get to know their