In some ways, life is more vivid as a bird.
While being “happy,” or “silly,” or “free,” sounds generally nice, being “happy as a lark,” or “silly as a goose,” or “free as a bird” soars above the single words with a new and vibrant resonance.
Adding the similes – which, perhaps, have even calcified into clichés – is like fastening a set of wings onto the original word: they lift the word up allowing it glide into an elevated meaning.
Our artist of the week, Toni Silber-Delerive, is like a bird metaphor. She gives her scenes wings. She takes a common landscape and – through lustrous color and a raised perspective – gives it a new, overarching significance.
“In a previous life,” she avers, “I must have been a bird.”
From the poolside repose of a New York City roof, to the upscale clusters of a South African suburb, to the veiny, circulatory highways of Dubai, to the ruddy rooftops of Florence, much of her portfolio is a collection of overhead views. In that way her portfolio is like the photo album of a migratory bird who has just returned to her nest after a visual vacation around the world.
“My influence is the world around me. The act of creating is an extension of my vision and commentary that I project in my work,” she says.
The combination of colors in Silber-Delerive’s paintings is like a songbird’s chattering cocktail party: she chirps in magenta, caws in blue, and coos in violet. With the twitters of red and the occasional tweets of yellow, she emulates the rising, buzzy trill of a bird sanctuary.
“Inspired by a passion for bringing my visuals to life, I compel viewers to see the world from a different perspective” she says.
She creates a narrative in which the location itself – sometimes architecture and other times natural landscapes – become the figures of her work. Perched from her vantage point, the world becomes a cosmos of characters. With attention to capturing the individuality of each location, she maps the idiosyncrasies and personalities onto the geography.
This reflects Silber-Delerive’s prior work as a graphic designer. Although, instead physical spaces her subjects were companies. Her designs, oriented in shape and color, gave each company personality and polish.
While the overhead vantage point gives her paintings an elegant structure, her vivid colors give them a chirpy playfulness.
“I derive each and every idea and image from something I see, dream, touch or observe,” says the artist.