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Angelina wrona

The emergence of Canadian painter, Angelina Wrona, is synonymous with the mainstream emergence of pop-surrealism in Canada. Since breaking onto the scene in 2006, her paintings have poured into gallery showrooms across the country where they have quietly and infectiously enchanted passers by. Her paintings possess an indefinable affectation that compels people, draws them in, leaving most with more questions than answers. Yet her work is in demand world- wide. Each painting tells a story, has a finely tuned effervescent quality, like looking into Galadriel’s pool: the story is unique and personal to the observer, and threatens to conjure images from ones past.

For those who prefer to stick to the top layers of meaning, as art, her work is characterized by it’s distinct lack of definable tradition, yet falls heroically within the realm of pop-surrealist art.

Popularized by artists like Ed Roth, Mark Ryden, and Robert Williams - founder of the arts and culture magazine, Juxtapoz - pop-surrealism has a tendency to defy the very thing that art critics and scholars strive to do – to define form, to apply rules of execution, and it’s, in part, that very thing – a lack of definition – which seems to characterize pop-surrealism itself.

With a dedicated following in California, and the opening of Kirsten Anderson’s Roq La Rue Gallery, in Seattle, Washington, the pop- surrealist movement started gaining ground in the late-1990’s. Associations were made with modern forms like pop, and conceptual, and with traditional yet marginalized disciplines like Dadaism, Abstract, and Impressionism. Treading deeper into the historical record, a thread of influence can even be made looking to 14th century artist Hieronymus Bosch, who stepped away from medieval tradition using elaborate, surreal imagery to illustrate religious and moral themes. Anderson says there are parameters that do somewhat define pop-surrealism: it’s technically masterful, it’s contemporary and iconographic, it’s archetypical; it comes from the subconscious realm, and there is a reason behind the painting.

Of her own work, Angelina says she has seen it evolve over the last three years since breaking onto the market. “My technique has become more refined, much of it from being comfortable with my style to begin with. It’s interesting to see how the process unfolds. When I start to sketch a new idea and revise the early painting to include different elements, the depth starts to show through, and the expressions and ideas in the background come alive. It’s really about the detail.”

A registered nurse specializing in geriatric alzheimers’ care before she became a recognized artist, Angelina says there was fortunately never a starving artist phase. “I never did completely pull the pin on my day job to try to build a career as a painter. I worked part-time as a nurse during the evening and

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