Sybil Fix | Unsliced: Turkeys Off the Plate

13 Oct

Sybil Fix | Unsliced: Turkeys Off the Plate


Unsliced: Turkeys Off the Plate

Nov. 2, 2018 – Jan. 5, 2019

Artist Receptions:

Fridays, Nov. 2 & Dec. 7, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Sybil Fix, a Charleston artist and  author, paints birds in order to free them from the invisibility to which they have been relegated by our insatiable appetites and dulled sense of observation.

Her work seeks to highlight and sensitize us to the wonderful presence of birds.  With immediacy and color and what she considers a ‘connection’ to their inner world, Sybil wishes to capture their undying yearning for freedom and their irrepressible charm.  Her paintings, which reveal a deep love of her subject, invite the viewer to consider another being in its innate truth rather than through the lens of human use.

In a world of virtual knowledge, Sybil uses painting to translate the nature she reveres into a concrete presence in our homes and lives.  She works mostly in large scale, adding impact to her bold and colorful work, but her visual language is as piercing as Hemingway’s prose.

In addition to art, Sybil, who grew up in Italy, has worked in a variety of fields, including reporting, translation, public relations, and the teaching of both Italian and French.  She recently published her first book, The Girl from Borgo. Whether painting or writing, her intellect is apparent.

Artist’s Statement

I started painting turkeys on Thanksgiving Day, in 2010 or about. I got up early on that holiday morning, pulled on a coat and grabbed a cup of coffee, unraveled a stretch of canvas, tacked it outside on a wall, chose a pic of a turkey, and painted.

The method was artistic, but the calling was spiritual: I had decided to memorialize a turkey in honor of the many millions that that day would be shipped, purchased, scanned, tossed, defrosted, brined, roasted, burned, and carved, and served at tables across America in the name of patriotism, family, God, religion, and prayer — and maybe even peace.

In painting that first turkey, I established a joyful annual tradition for both my Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings: a soulful alla prima observance of gratitude for the wonder of the world around us — and a moment of sorrow, too, for all that we destroy.

In the process of this ritual of reverence, I have discovered that turkeys are as interesting and gratifying to paint as roosters and hens, which had been my first love and which I have spent years painting for similar reasons. In fact, turkeys broadened and brightened and liberated my palette into the blues and the greens; meanwhile, in them, I found a distinct persona and presence. Their eyes tell a story that moves me and in which I find kindness and belonging. I also find them to be humorous, fearless, funny, and sweet.

Thank you for acknowledging these special animals.

Sybil Fix

Charleston, 2018