Ferdinanda Florence

Art from a Humanist Perspective

In both my art and my teaching, I am interested in the concept of liminal—or threshold—spaces, and how the slippery boundaries between inside and outside can act as metaphors for life’s unresolvable paradoxes. Featuring sites in my adopted city of Vallejo, CA, my paintings represent a personal exploration of loss and longing for something untenable and possibly irretrievable.

Almost all of my subjects are industrial or commercial areas, rather than private residences. They are "home" to no one, but I am drawn to them, and find in them something personal and familiar. I admire the resiliency of the architecture, beautifully proportioned, low and obstinately hugging the ground. Yet the buildings’ faces are impassive; despite welcoming awnings and occasional doorways, the buildings here deny ready access. They are difficult to place, both in time and spatially.

Vallejo itself has been cast as a “slipping” city, with unrealized promise—always on the cusp of “arriving,” yet also at risk of being declared a lost cause. While these sites suggest unresolved social and economic issues for the city, they represent for me a psychological space—a place for personal reconnaissance.


Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco

Elisa Contemporary Art, New York