The 34 oil and acrylic paintings in Ali Rybczyk’s exhibition, “Chromotherapy,” are vibrantly colored and finely detailed, bringing the artist’s contemporary characters, motifs and phrases to life. Her work, referred to as a “pop impressionism,” are expressions of her affirmations, beliefs, curiosities about life, longings and especially of her interest in creating art as an aspect of holistic healing. The paintings further express the importance of creating works in which form, shape, light and color merge and flow in harmony.
Color is especially significant to Rybczyk’s work, as she follows what she refers to as the “chromotherapy” theory, in which various colors help to balance and adjust the body’s energy and vibrations. The artist, who expresses the belief that chromotherapy works on various energy points to address distinct needs, feels that her paintings can also have healing effects on viewers.
The resulting artworks by the 24-year-old artist are accessible and often jubilant depictions of idealized lifestyles and scenarios. Three paintings from her “Sports Illustrated” series illustrate a tennis player, a motorcyclist and a boater, all eagerly employing their athletic skills. Her two “Skier” paintings (manifestations of her Colorado roots) display skiers alighting on the slopes. With influences of fashion and sports magazines in these paintings — aspects that the artist is proud of — her deeper intention is to extol the health-giving and joyous aspects of athleticism. The colors in these works tend toward muted greens, olives, blues and grays, imparting subtle yet powerful qualities to them.
Among the most poignant and personally meaningful works in this artist’s first solo exhibition are those expressing her favored mantras. One painting reads in large bright letters, “My favorite moments keep happening.” Another says, “I just wanted to remind you that it is so beautiful.” A third painting remarks, “Your heart has always known.” And a fourth one reads, “Let’s smile at life for uniting us…”. Her most conceptual art piece in this series is “Chakra Crayons,” depicting seven crayons, displayed in a circle, with each crayon bearing an affirmation; these include “Power,” “Intuition,” “Golden Light” and “Romance.”
While words are a major theme in contemporary art, Rybczyk’s are more affirmative than many such pieces. In one painting, titled “Fav Moments,” she surrounds her block letters with flowers and abstract designs.
The “spirit animal” is another theme in her paintings. These include “The Skin You’re In” of a brightly colored snake; another called “Metamorphosis,” depicting a butterfly with psychedelic coloring; and “Primary Lovers,” two swans, one blue and the other orange, in a near embrace. The artist’s artwork “The Bear,” of an expressively poised bear with a humanoid-like face required time, patience and deft illustration skills, according to the exhibition curator, Jasmin Pannier. Meanwhile the artist’s work “Believe” of a camel, with the word “BELIEVE” against a blue background, combines her love of animals with a personal affirmation.
Rybczyk also includes still-lifes and nature scenes of wildly adorned gardens in this exhibition. Yet her most expressive paintings, which look toward the next phase of her burgeoning artistic career, are “C Ya in Palm Springs,” “Beverly Hills Hotel” and “Capri.”
The Palm Springs painting illustrates a 1950s-style coupe automobile with fins against a tropical setting, replete with palm trees and a mid-century, pastel-colored building. The Beverly Hills piece is a more complex depiction of a hotel sign and exterior against lush tropical foliage, with an inset of boudoir accouterments including a perfume bottle and lotion. The abstract qualities of this painting impart a dreamlike and inaccessible quality to it. “Capri” alludes to Rybczyk’s hopes and dreams, both personal and professional; large colorful umbrellas emblazon the left side of the painting, while overlooking a deep blue expanse of water, and elegant hotel exteriors, palm trees and a bright blue sky occupy the background. This fantasy painting, with its strong and powerful impressionistic features, may elicit future vacations in a tropical paradise. It also foretells the artist’s aspirations to continue to explore her love of wildly colorful landscape painting.
As an ambitious artist who works with talent, passion and integrity, it will be interesting to see the future phases of Ali Rybczyk’s painting career.
“Chromotherapy” can be seen at WorkWell, 17322 Murphy Ave., Irvine, through January 2. The space is open to the public Saturday and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.