Valerie Hegarty’s art is really catching fire

There was an art teacher who used to mock his first year students and say, “If you can’t make it good, make it big. If you can’t make it big, paint it red. And if that doesn’t work, set it on fire.” Well, Valerie Hegarty might take issue with that disparaging advice. She finds beauty in her art when it’s in a much different condition than what a lot of artists are accustomed to. Whether her paintings are melting, decaying, or riddled with holes, the effects are fascinating. And while her paintings are rewarding for the viewer, it must have been at least as enjoyable for Hegarty to make them – imagine how liberating for an artist to not be concerned with a pristine surface or crystal clear image. Clearly, a gallery full of these would create a unique impression, but if a private owner were to display a lone example of one her George Washingtons, visitors might suspect that there’d been a fire sale.

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