CHRISTINA GRACE MASTRANGELO

PERSONAL BIOGRAPHY

Christina Grace Mastrangelo (b. 1983) grew up in Western Massachusetts. Always fascinated by figurative painting, her passion first ignited during a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum and was further cultivated in her adolescent years amidst travels to the Louvre and Vatican Museums. While pursuing her degree in Studio Art through the Honors College at James Madison University, Christina further developed her interests abroad, studying Humanism, Italian, and Art History at the British Institute in Florence, Italy. She painted and absorbed the abundance of art of the city in her spare time. Immediately following graduation she returned to Florence to attend the rigorous drawing and painting program at the Angel Academy of Art. In 2009, after three years of training, she graduated and returned to the U.S. where she has been pursing her painting career ever since.

Click here to view her CV.

Florence seriously molded Christina's artistic vision; at the atelier she learned the traditional processes of working from life, studied and mastered materials, explored art history from the artist's perspective, and pursued realistic painting and drawing of portraits, figures, and still lifes. The city and the culture of Europe enveloped her, something that continues to influence her aesthetic today. She works in a style called Classical Realism; one that represents nature realistically, often idealized, to achieve order, harmony, completeness, and beauty.

Christina has shown at The European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona, the Villa Bardini in Florence, and has had two solo shows in Florence as well as one at the D'Amour Museum of Fine Art in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her most recent awards were from the Art Renewal Center, Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America, and the Salmagundi Club. She is currently represented by the Guild of Boston Artists in Boston and Williams Fine Art Dealers in Wenham, Massachusetts.

Christina also teaches at the Academy of Realist Art in Boston, Massachusetts and the Cheney Homestead Arts Mill Studio in Manchester, Connecticut during the summers. Additionally she uses Patreon as an online educational platform for those interested in learning about traditional process and technique.

All of the still-life paintings Christina does are painted from life; no photographs are used. Her entire body of work is done using traditional sight-size and comparative measurement methods- without gridding, tracing, projecting, or using any type of camera obscura. For more information about this method, see her still-life painting course description under the "Classes and Workshops" page or subscribe to her Patreon.

Christina currently spends her time painting, teaching, and traveling between Jacksonville, Florida, and Wilbraham, Massachusetts, with her husband, artist Nicholas McNally.

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ARTIST'S STATEMENT

My main subjects are women. How we as a gender have been portrayed in art is often from the perspective of the male gaze. I aim to reconstruct this narrative by creating a female archetype of my own. The women depicted in my work are a representation of strength, contemplativeness, and integrity of self. When nude, we are not sexualized. When emotional, we have valid convictions. When our gaze is downward, it is inward- not meek.

My years of rigid Classical Realist training and the philosophy of beauty tied to that lineage strongly influence my aesthetic. I aim to represent nature in a realistic style, but it goes beyond mere mimesis. There is purposeful simplification and elimination in my renderings, an avoidance of the unnecessary. I am not interested in magnifying details- my depictions hover in the space of what we see when we are a few steps away, aware of the whole. The fine balance is struck by an intimacy and yet a distance, a reverence for the muse while showing her to the world.

A pattern of leaves repeats throughout my work. I paint these to draw nature into the mind of the viewer as ode to the valuable around us. Some paintings are a reminder of balance and serenity amidst chaos. Many are a tribute to the mind, body, and spirit in harmony with our surroundings. My aim is to depict a space where there is a communion between nature and the self, the self being found in each archetype. I create this work because I feel we need that connection now more than ever.

There are aspects of Renaissance portraiture, the Arts and Crafts Movement, and the 19th century European academies in my work. No matter the subject I'm painting, I look towards sublimity, and linger there.


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