Pamela H. Viola


VIOLApamela_Enjoying_the_View

Enjoying the View, pigment prints, 20″ x 20″, 2013

VIOLApamela_Hesitance

Hesitance, pigment prints, 20″x 20″, 2013

VIOLApamela_Hat_in_Hand

Hat in Hand, pigment prints, 20″ x 20″, 2013

VIOLApamela_Faceless_Man_and_Holi_Dog

Faceless Man with Holi Dog, pigment prints, 20″ x 20″, 2013

VIOLApamela_Balance

Balance, pigment prints, 20″ x 20″, 2013

VIOLApamela_Adversaries_Face_Off-2

Adversaries Face Off, pigment prints, 20″ x 20″, 2013

VIOLApamela_Paper_Doll

Paper Doll, pigment prints, 20″ x 20″, 2013

VIOLApamela_Femme_Fatale_of_the_Glacier

Femme Fatale of the Glacier, pigment prints, 20″ x 20″, 2013

Artist Statement

“Artists around the globe have been experimenting with and redrawing the boundaries of traditional photography for decades.” ~ ICP Curator Carol Squiers

I create. I make art.

What type of art? you ask.

My answer is, I can’t always label it.

Photography is uniquely suited to capturing a straight representation of a scene but there exists an equally strong tradition of using photographs to portray the world of dreams, memory, and conceptual ideas. I can tell you that my process begins by making images with a camera. What I do with those images is not always the same.

Inspired by both pictorialism and surrealism, my work spans the divide between photography and painting. Interpretations of iconic Washington, D.C., landmarks often take form in the multiple exposures created in my camera, whereas my conceptual/surrealist work is developed digitally in a painterly fashion by layering images, textures, and hand-made marks.

Sometimes, the work retains a great deal of what is commonly considered a photograph—representation of reality. More often, my work morphs into surreal assemblage. I intuitively recombine bits of imagery, constructing digital layers of light, color, hand-made marks, and texture. Finished pieces resemble traditional forms of printmaking and are rendered on materials (including paper, metal, wood, and fabric) congenial to the particular body of work.

Beginning without expectation, yet guided by a strong sense of composition, creative discovery unfolds.

It is often only in retrospect that I fully understand the emotional components revealed. Distinction among photography, printmaking, and painting in my work is not particularly relevant. The context of medium is distracting; therefore, let’s just call what I do art.

About the Artist

Pamela H. Viola is a photography-based and mixed-media visual artist. Born and raised in New York and New Hampshire, she currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area; she also maintains residences in New York City and elsewhere in New England.

Informally trained in a wide range of artistic disciplines, from photography to painting and printmaking, Pamela Viola has studied with Jay Maisel, Henry Horenstein, Joe McNally (photography), and Pat Adams (painting and printmaking), among others. She received her bachelor’s degree with honors from St. John’s University (she also studied at Bennington College) and holds a certificate in filmmaking from New York University.

Pamela Viola’s professional career includes 15 years in the film industry, working with directors Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone, and Barry Sonnenfeld. Her diverse and unique bodies of work reflect the varieties of artistic influences she has enjoyed throughout her life.

Pamela Viola, who has exhibited in numerous solo, group, and juried and invitational shows, is represented by Hisaoka Gallery at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Washington, D.C. Her most recent solo exhibit, “Having a Ball”, was held in November 2013 at Hillyer Art Space, also in Washington, D.C. Currently, her work is on view in the exhibit “The Nation’s River” at the Gateway Gallery at Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

Television shows such as “Scandal” and “Revenge” regularly feature Pamela Viola’s artwork, images of which also have been published in Art Business News, Elan magazine, Northern Virginia magazine, and The Washington Post, among other publications. 

This year, Pamela Viola was shortlisted for Portugal’s MIRA Mobile Prize, for Opium Party, which will be on exhibit in Portugal beginning September 6.

Award-winning work by Pamela Viola can be found in public, private, and corporate collections worldwide, including those of the Federal Aviation Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission, Hyatt Hotels, PNC Bank, Booz Allen Hamilton, CBS Television, Kaiser Permanente, Herman Miller, Kimpton Hotels, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Pamela Viola Website

Pamela Viola Blog

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts

MIRA Forum Gallery

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