US Bank’s Palm Beach branch, with its neutral walls and modern furnishings, provides the perfect backdrop to exhibit Maureen Fulgenzi’s wonderland of art. Customers may not get much banking done due to her happy distraction.
A few moments in the presence of Ms. Fulgenzi‘s paintings leaves one feeling as if he or she has just had a sumptuous meal. If the viewer happens to be a little on the melancholy side, their mood is quickly changed to nothing less than joyful.
A look into Maureen’s background and creative process explains the response to her arresting style. Maureen began her career and education in New York City. She spent several successful years in the fabric design business working with names like Mary McFadden and Diane Furstenberg, where she produced a well-received line of dresses. She partnered with an artist/designer to make hand-painted fabrics, and ran two businesses—Horito/Fulgenzi Designs and Gossamer Wind in Soho.
In the 90s, she decided to follow her “smoldering desire” (as she puts it) to pursue painting. And paint she did. Venturing into the realist genre, her sophisticated style has moved into the abstract. Maureen dominates a variety of genres. She calls herself the “Sybil of Art” because she loves all styles. You could call it artistic schizophrenia--in a good way.
Maureen employs a mixed media technique, and utilizes interesting objects such as shells, fabric scraps, sea glass and even dried paint chips. The delightful discovery of these items in her paintings—usually found in obscure places—feels like finding hidden treasure. Her subjects include horses, birds, flowers and landscapes, and portraits. She has the ability to turn everyday sights into uncommon masterpieces. Her texture variation and boldness of color incite a truly emotional experience. And it’s no wonder, because when painting, Maureen throws her entire self into the process.
“I like the arm sweep of a large work,” says Maureen. “But sometimes I start small when adopting a new technique. It shows me where I’m going. Doing a smaller piece helps me identify the subject and concepts. Then I can expand the each motif and work up to a grander scale. I’m not always sure where I’m going. I keep painting, and it comes alive.”
Maureen enthusiastically explains her piece called “Reposing.” “To me this shows pure energy. I have to go really fast when I’m feeling it. The crux of it was done in one hour. But when people ask me how long it took me, I tell them it took me my whole life. I couldn’t do this in one hour unless I’d had the prior years of experience.”
After a look at another head-turning piece called “Sunset Ponies,” I asked Maureen how she arrived at her color choices. “I like to look at things in a different way. If something looks too normal, I always add something to make it look a little off.”
Apparently, “Sunset Ponies,” had been completed, and she was off to another project, when she found herself with an excess of Cadmium Orange on her brush. “What am I going to do with all this paint?” She’d thought. She looked at “Sunset Ponies,” and decided to add the orange to the horses, which ended up being the crowning glory of the work. The pop of unexpected color provided just the thing to make it a little “off.” Orange ponies! Obviously, she titled the painting after she added the leftover paint, which is her typical process. Most works get named after the fact. “Abstracts,” she says,” are a little harder to title.”
|Commissioning for IPC (International Polo) Opening|
Other beauties at the exhibit are: “Rest on Water,” “Quiet Breeze,” “Caged Three,” and “The Sail,” which has sea glass, seashells as well as seaweed incorporated in it. “Pax” has the word, “peace” painted in several different languages. Even without the text, the work evokes serenity.
All her works overflow with emotion, and say something to the admirer. While not necessarily as overtly as in “Pax,” they subconsciously effect a visceral and psychological transformation.
Don’t miss the picture-perfect exhibit at US Bank—which has been extended indefinitely, and is open to the public. Then, starting in May, you can also view Ms. Fulgenzi’s flower-themed collection called, “Brings May Flowers,” at the newly renovated Derma Nu offices at 901 North Flagler Road, Suite 5, West Palm Beach, Florida, 33401. Her website is www.maureenfulgenzi.com, and artwork is available for purchase.