Delicate and tough at the same time, the work of Belgian painter Stivi effortlessly encompasses a wide range of emotions. Stivi creates both abstract paintings and portraits, working in oil, acrylic, and mixed media. Texture is the star of her abstract pieces. There are cracked surfaces, splatters, drips, and intricate pebbled dustings. There are also found objects: cigarettes, seashells, paintbrushes – anything from the organic world to self-referential art paraphernalia to bits and pieces of modern everyday life.
Stivi’s portraits are done in a completely different style: smooth, refined, and hyperrealistic. She paints her subjects from the neck up, against a completely black background so that their intense colors almost glow. The dramatic lighting is inspired by both Baroque and Renaissance chiaroscuro. The subjects wear their emotion on their faces, and Stivi is particularly talented at capturing subtler expressions that are rarely seen in portraiture. At the same time, her composition and lighting are almost confrontational in their intensity, giving this intimate style a hard edge.