New Jersey-based figurative painter Victoria V Nunley has always been drawn to narrative painting. Centered around storytelling, her dynamic works are conceptualized in layers: first theme, then composition and color, then humor, and finally meaning. “The first three layers are my tools for telling a story,” she explains. “The bottom layer, underneath it all, is where the viewer (and myself) arrive at what the story is about.”
In her recent paintings, Nunley wanted to tell a story about feeling bad. “In particular, I wanted to tell a story about wrestling with emotions that point their finger back at their holder,” she says. “Emotions like shame and guilt and bitterness. Emotions that hurt your pride. Emotions that assure you that you did this to yourself. Maybe you saw the fire, but put your hands in it anyway, and somehow that means you deserved getting hurt.” A solo protagonist confronts various struggles, with external conflicts serving as visual metaphors for the ones she grapples with internally — “And so, I am telling a story about our lone hero wrestling and coping and struggling until she feels okay again.”
See more from Victoria V Nunley below!