Ashely Peifer’s paintings are an ode to nostalgia, to memories of her youth, full of bright pastel colours and glittery textures.
Peifer builds pictures from memories, those ephemeral places, colours and sounds that call out to us from the past, that are an integral part of being human, they are particular to us. It’s through this process of remembering that Peifer explores that gap between truth and memory, past and present, a place outside our digital universe that is always threatening to obliterate time, is always attempting to keep us in the present and thinking of the future.
In these abstract pictures built up in layers of puffy paint, glitter and Lisa Frank colours – an iconic American children’s artist who used extremely bright and vibrant colors – can be seen her influences including Cy Twombly, Terry Winter, Robert Rauschenberg and Richard Tuttle who have led her to make work that constantly explores the materiality and the potential for paint to bring us beyond our temporal reality. Here’s what she has to say about her painting:
My paintings are formed through my delight in material exploration, yet are nudged by my memories of places and events from my past. Instead of being rich depictions of what actually occurred, as I paint, my memories become flattened, transitioning into a low-quality image that is similar to a jpeg that has been saved over and over.
When I translate these memories into paint, I am captivated by feelings of nostalgia so the already flat imagery becomes gilded, cheery, and obviously over-beautified. The elements within my compositions overlap, cluster, pile up, and interact. Shapes, objects, and landscapes inhabit my paintings, though they are usually abstracted beyond recognition or mostly covered over. I’m interested in the struggle between the actual (though ultimately unknowable) past versus faulty or enhanced memories of the past.