Carly Silverman Paintings
Text by Amy Brener

The women in Carly Silverman’s recent paintings are not all there. They flit and flicker like lightbulbs during a storm. They are painfully self aware, yet weightless, as though drifting through a dream. Struggling to find themselves inside an urban haze that threatens to devour. Skin blurs, expressions are abstracted. Even their clothing tries to swallow them. With thoughts occupied by outside concerns, their bodies fold inward. They touch themselves as if to prove existence. Silverman captures these intimate gestures and the viewer’s attention.

The subject in Woman in Orange holds a cigarette with one hand and clasps her neck with the other. In Edges, a girl fidgets with her ankle strap and peers into her iPhone screen. In Afternoon Rush, a woman hails a cab while clutching a scarf to her neck. These elegant creatures seem to have fixed and determined gazes through their glossy shades. They strike dainty poses, but are not passive. With delicate fingers, they hold command of their washy environs.

Silverman builds up her canvasses in layers. Two or three paintings exist below the finished surface, veiled by thin white. The properties of oil paint are fully utilized in these works–pigment is concealed, wiped and accumulated. The end result is rich in tone and texture; swashes of gauzy color treat the eye. Ghost images remain and permeate the paintings with a larger sense of time. The women exist in a moment within infinite moments that merge together in their surroundings.