Anastasia Pelias was born in New Orleans, LA to Greek parents. Her artistic practice is rooted in the dual cultural identity of both her native and ancestral roots in New Orleans, LA and Skopelos, Greece. Blending the vibrant, compassionate nature of a New Orleanian with her weighty Greek heritage, Pelias creates work that is rich with personal depth of emotion, life experience and the spirit of exploration. An abstractionist in the truest form, Pelias’ work reflects a seriousness and dedication to the traditional principles of painting – both the concept and the actuality.
Pelias received her BFA from the Newcomb College of Tulane University in 1981 and her MFA from the University of New Orleans in 1996. Her career spans thirty years and multiple reinventions. She has been featured in exhibitions, art fairs and publications nationally, including the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, American University (Washington D.C.), Proteus Gowanus (Brooklyn, NY), Miami Project 5 Art Fair, Texas Contemporary Art Fair (Houston, TX) and in Hyperallergic and Pelican Bomb. Her works appear in private and public collections world-wide, including: the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Mobile Museum of Art, Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital (Commack, NY) and the private collection of Ambassador Alexandra Papadopoulou (Athens, Greece).
Sisters is a body of work that responds to the power and the expression of the female voice. The works are large-scale oil stick paintings on paper using a personal vocabulary of line, gestural marks, color and texture. Music has always been a huge driving force in my studio practice, and in this series I respond directly to specific female musicians whose sentiments and songs I connect with on a deep, visceral level. Some of the women I’ve been listening to my whole life, others are new to me since beginning this body of work. I listen to a looping playlist of selected songs or albums before and during the making of the work until reaching a state where I am responding to the music emotionally, without thought.
Each of these fearless women collectively share an unapologetic pursuit of their art. They have taught me about life, and most especially about love. These women are my Sisters.