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The Note, Don't Put on Your Rose-Colored Glasses, Portrait of Sofya Kovalevskaya


The inspiration for The Note was the Rococo paintings of Auguste Toulmouche. I was fascinated by the artist's rich textures and implied narratives, and I hoped to experiment with these in a semi-contemporary setting. (1)

I created this work to critique the unawareness and silence I observe within parts of America about racism against people of color. In this piece, I used the phrase “rose-colored glasses” to create a visual metaphor for not seeing these issues. Don’t Put on Your Rose-Colored Glasses is intended to be a call-to-action for this group to empathize with communities that do not share their demographic, and to take action in any form they can to limit their personal biases against people of color. (2)

This work is a portrait of Sofya Kovalevskaya, the first prominent female Russian mathematician and mathematics professor in Northern Europe, a notable scientific writer, and a fierce advocate for women's rights in the 19th century. I created the piece for the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes' ArtEffect Project, and I was inspired by Grand Manner portraits of the eighteenth century. In this type of portraiture, visual symbols were used to show a sitter's admirable qualities. By painting Kovalevskaya in the Grand Manner, I hoped to show her as being in the canon of important historical figures where she rightfully should be. (3)

Piper Bangs is an oil painter and student raised in San Antonio, Texas, and is an undergraduate student at Laguna College of Art and Design majoring in Drawing and Painting with a minor in Sculpture. She recently won a Merit Award from the National YoungArts Foundation and si National Medals from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in visual art. She as just graduated from the North East School of the Arts and is excited to know that there is much more for her to learn. 

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