Powerful Painted Portraits of Women by Sya Warfield I Artsy Shark

Artist Sya Warfield celebrates female empowerment through mixed media portraits of trail-blazing women. To see more of her portfolio, visit her website.

portrait of Badiaa Masabni by Sya Warfield

“Badiaa Masabni” mixed mdia on upcycled wood panel, 23.5″ x 35″ x 1″

I was born in upstate New York and named after my mom’s best friend growing up. At 22, I purchased a baby blue VW bus in Zion, Utah and traveled throughout the US. For several years, I set down roots in Boulder, Colorado diving deep into African dance. My move to California three years later led me to capoeira, developing a daily practice for almost 10 years. A strong desire to live close to water has kept me in coastal cities on the west coast—San Diego, San Francisco, and now Los Angeles.

portrait of a Japanese woman by Sya Warfield

“Japan” mixed media on upcycled wood panel, 12″ x 12″

Influenced by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi (侘寂), this philosophy centers around imperfection and impermanence. My work celebrates boundless narratives from a feminine perspective.

portrait of a woman by Sya Warfield

“Gold” mixed media on upcycled wood panel, 20″ x 24″ x 1.5″

I create a visual language with my art practice which reveals imagined stories. Upcycling, and honoring a mixed media approach, results in evocative juxtapositions of color, art and storytelling.

portrait of Anna Pavlova by Sya Warfield

“Anna Pavlova Gold” mixed media on upcycled wood panel, 36″ x 36″ x 1″

Taking inspiration from Robert Rauschenberg’s process of combining ready-made texts and images, this contemporary approach to mixed media illustrates a classical narrative.

portrait of Isodora Duncan by Sya Warfield

“Isodora Duncan” mixed media on upcycled wood panel, 24″ x 28″ x 175″

I move between several mediums including video, street art and working in my studio creating wall art.

portrait of a woman by Sya Warfield

“1969” mixed media on upcycled wood panel, 12″ x 12″

My studio work involves reconstructing and deconstructing materials using various tools and techniques consisting of tearing, shredding, gluing and sanding. Materials include paper, water-based pigment ink, paint markers, metallic leaf, acrylic paint, spray paint and oil pastels, all mounted on reclaimed wood panels of various sizes.

portrait of Carmen Amaya by Sya Warfield

“Carmen Amaya” mixed media on upcycled wood panel, 23.5″ x 35″ x 1.75″

My street art integrates figurative elements, nuanced color and design to create a visual vibration that echoes life, within confident, solid compositions. I use a form of compositional collage, which brings archive photography into the final works through using pulp transfers, followed by paint to create layers of color, texture, further imagery and patterns.

portrait of a woman by Sya Warfield

“Lou” mixed media on upcycled wood panel, 20″ x 24″ x 1.5″

The resulting works, often featuring portraits of strong women, are evocative and affirmative, indicating extensive possibilities rather than fixed ideas of representation. I aim to create unique portraits suspended deep within the surface of wood panels, embodying a painterly and otherworldly esthetic.

portrait of a woman by Sya Warfield

“Jasmyne” mixed media on upcycled wood panel, 12″ x 12″

My recent series titled Women are Heroes is a collection of 20 paintings which I began in August of 2020. Consisting of an artillery of (s)heroes celebrating feminine empowerment, this series examines the radiance of flow state as a way to stay centered in a chaotic and unjust world.

portrait of Three Geishas by Sya Warfield

“Three Geishas” mixed media on upcycled wood panel, 30″ x 40.25″ x 1.75″

This collection tells the story of female trailblazers such as Frida Kahlo, Malala Yousafzai, Isodora Duncan, Anna Pavlova, Carmen Amaya, Badiaa Masabni, and the three young geishas along with so many others. With this series, I aim to preserve legacies of powerful females.

Artist Sya Warfield invites you to follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok.

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