Savannah Galvin

Artist Statement

Ultimately, the work that I make is deeply autobiographical. Creating a personal language for visual storytelling is central to my practice, which draws thematically from mythology, as well as my personal experiences involving intimacy and vulnerability and how these expressions relate to notions of gender and interpersonal relationships in society. My work aims to provide a window into internal emotional spaces, teasing out details of interior landscapes and fantasies that have otherwise been suppressed. The narratives told through my work often begin from my own perspective in an effort to capture the underlying “essence” of the story as I experience it. In the past, I’ve worked primarily with oil pastels and oil paint in my drawings and paintings, but I’ve recently begun exploring acrylics. I’m especially attracted to the tactile elements of different materials, and my technique tends to oscillate between a sense of balance and control as well as the conscious abandonment of both. I embrace the innate, sometimes macabre sense of humor that I bring to my work, both stylistically and conceptually. Currently, I’m developing a body of work based on cultural symbols and tropes from my American Italian Catholic upbringing, focusing on the theatrical or performative aspect of Italian-American identity. In order to explore these themes, I’ve been working with portraiture to represent traditional ideas of the family structure, pop-culture icons, morality, food, and the decorative. Reflecting on shifts in my own life and subjectivity and the near-universal experience of feelings of isolation, I’m drawn to questions of how we identify with culture.