ArtWeLove and Sarah Trigg

Ponce, by Sarah Trigg

My recent trip to Arizona made me remember how much nicer people are to each other outside of NYC, and how hungry I was for pleasant interpersonal connections–at the grocery store, on the phone, passing by…the reason I bring this up just now is because I had a wonderful experience with a company called ArtWeLove, not only from a transactional standpoint, but from an artistic one, since I came to learn about an artist named Sarah Trigg who I really relate to and enjoy.

ArtWeLove sells prints of artists’ work, meaning they are not originals, rather reproductions of original works, printed in an edition of, say, 250 on archival paper. During Armory Week, I won an online sweepstakes and a free print. This was exciting, and they couldn’t have been nicer–I even got an email from the person who put my print in the mail, to tell me it was on the way.

I chose a print (above) by Sarah Trigg because of the appealing colors and shapes, and because it looks like, and was influenced by, maps–which I love. Maps have inspired many of my own paintings over the years and I could look at them all day long.

As the website says:

“Heavily influenced by maps and the modern global landscape, Trigg created this artwork based on paper maps collected in Spain. After spending a summer abroad, Sarah returned with multiple maps and was struck by their aesthetic value as well as how explorer names for streets and locations are so pervasive on a local level that they become part of the background, but are unique to travelers. The title is derived from the Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon.”

When I clicked for more information on Sarah, I learned more about her newer work, which are juicy, colorful, painterly paintings (again, very close to my heart) which she created based on an interest in maps, dates and history. So many of my own favorite things–this just gets better and better!

It’s really interesting–she chooses a date on the calendar and researches events that happened on that date which affected the landscape, then paints about them. It’s funny how our interests continue to intersect because I did something similar, though on a more personal scale, when I opened old letters I’d received on the same date years earlier and then created paintings with them.

In my favorite body of work, her appreciation of the aerial view in a map led her to more fully explore the depicted site, such as researching so-called “reconnaissance photographs” from the Cuban Missile Crisis. Even though these grainy photos show a dirty industrial site that brought our country to the brink of war, I appreciate, like Sarah, the aesthetics of tiretracks in the gravel, and the positions of the tents and fuel trailers on the launch site in San Cristobal, Cuba. There is a beauty there which Sarah distills into her paintings. For me, this rang another personal bell, because some years ago I painted maps of Chicago and was struck by the beauty of the runway patterns at Midway Airport (of all things). Those shapes and visual relationships appeared in many paintings and prints over the years; beauty and inspiration can come from the strangest places.

When you visit Sarah’s page at ArtWeLove, make sure to take the Studio Tour; as the camera lingers over her paintings, she gives a thoughtful narrative of her inspirations and how her work develops.

I feel like I really understand this artist, and that is rare, but beautiful when it happens.