Ann Strassman is an American figurative painter living and working in Boston. Antiques and the Arts Weekly vividly described her style: “Ann Strassman’s expressive realism… evolves from an unforgiving eye which she has developed from experience and time. She creates psychological tension with exaggerated brushwork and dramatic colors. The vocabulary may be German Expressionism and London school, but the vision is all her own.”
Compelling images in her head led Strassman to the The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where she developed the skills to make her thoughts come alive on canvas and cardboard. Passing faces, small everyday situations and curiosity propels her creative process; for her the desire to reveal the person under the mask is irresistible. The process starts with purposeful wandering, camera in hand, to find and capture raw images of reality which she translates with paint into her view of the world. In the studio, Strassman layers and removes paint, scrapes and sands the surface – adds, subtracts and manipulates canvas and cardboard to add physicality to the work. The labor of managing the various elements in the struggle to bring out what hides in the shadows results in a riveting image that is reality. Each new painting reflects the photos, the models, the detritus of the studio, the mood of the day.
Through patience and intense scrutiny, Ann Strassman portrays the life force of her subjects – they are not always pretty, but bold marks of pigment come together creating a powerful whole that is more than the sum of its parts. The subject is life: from people on the street to animals in the forest to flowers in the garden.