If you’re among the many Millennials who are fast approaching or even well into their thirties and still struggling to find their meaning and purpose in the world, there’s a striking source for rather harsh perspective in the extraordinarily established career of artist, Theodora Allen. Having attended four universities to develop her craft of fine art, most recently graduating from UCLA with her Masters of Fine Arts, Allen has successfully established a place for herself and gaining the kind of attention one quickly discovers is very well deserved upon viewing her work.
What’s considered largely responsible for the attention Allen has acquired so soon out of her education is a distinctive, Avant-garde technique that’s turning the art world on its ear. She begins her oil works on linen by building the paintings up slowly through very thin layers of paint, wiping away each layer with a cloth before adding the next. The result is a deep, rich construction that exposes each step taken during the entire process of the work’s creation. What’s left behind is the clear impression of the images within the painting both forming and disappearing from their backgrounds. Allen also implements poignant and bold imagery that extracts reflection and deep contemplation from its viewer. For example, an hourglass shape is featured in one of her works, chosen by Allen for its femininity in form and emblem of time and the hope it offers of starting over.
Not merely being discussed by important people, Theodora Allen was sought out to collaborate with designer, Hedi Slimane for the Saint Laurent label. From the collaboration a hundred-page book was born titled, “49 Paintings” to accompany a select set of invitations to Slimane’s 2013 fall ready to wear fashion show. Allen was still wrapping up her UCLA Masters when she took on the project. Slimane has a reputation for aiding emerging new talent find their platform and gain exposure for those who are worthy of it.
Blending surreal, fairy tale illustration with delicate, transparency that exposes its creation process in clean and restful charm is present amid her many works. Shapes of triangles reminiscent of Kandinsky and brilliant, radiant burning fires and stylized florals take on a pensive serenity unseen before. All this, and she’s a mere three decades into what promises to be a dazzling and illustrious life. Those of us seeking our own version of brilliant work to contribute to the world might consider taking a page out of her hundred-page book for Saint Laurent and get after it.