Lauren Bartone in /digital room/
Note by Guest Juror Dorothy Santos
Survival, labor, and sustenance were ideas that came to mind when I first viewed Lauren Bartone’s work. I’ve always felt the job of painting is to force us to look at objects–from the mundane to the fantastical–in such a different way that our ideas start to evolve. It was clear from the first time I looked at Bartone’s work that painting, especially the trompe l’oeil style, is not only a deeply kinesthetic way of learning about the world but a meditation as well. Bartone doesn’t merely tell a story through the objects she depicts; her paint marks allow visual entry points towards a dialogue, between the viewer and the subject matter and perhaps, with Bartone herself.
Lauren Bartone is grounded in an interdisciplinary balance of painting, community dialogue, and collective work. After initially studying painting in Florence, she completed a BA in fine art at UCLA in 2002. This was followed by an MA in Education at UC Berkeley in 2005 and an MFA at VCFA in 2012. In 2015 she produced her project A City in Maps as artist in residence at the de Young Museum of Art in San Francisco, and later created other interactive projects with the de Young, including Paradise and A Map for the Centennial of the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Additional artist residencies include Kala and Art Works Downtown. In 2016 she partnered with the San Francisco Arts Council to make SF New City Atlas for the Art on Market Street poster series, and more recently she produced a series of paintings and small sculptures exploring the value of domestic labor for her solo show 16 Tons, at the College of Marin Gallery. Her work has been generously supported with grants by the Pirkle Jones Foundation, the Marin Arts Council, and the VCFA Levin/Lutz Award. She currently lives with her partner and three children in downtown San Rafael.