Meet Anne Abueva, the Chicago-area artist behind abstract works that are a deep reflection of her emotional journey. Working out of her Wicker Park home, the painter uses various tools and often spontaneous techniques that allow her to create beauty out of imperfection. “My abstract compositions aren’t there to just make people happy,” explains Abueva, whose pieces have served as an outlet for her grief following the deaths of her premature twins. “I’m trying to capture a pleasing composition with a sort of yin-yang swoop of lines and emotion.” We chatted with Abueva to get to know her a little better.
What do you love most about painting for a living?
Mixing paints to achieve the perfect color and experimenting with new materials and techniques.
Who are your greatest influences?
I was fascinated by Claude Monet as a kid. I remember thinking that he saw the world in a brand new way, and he was able to share this. That struck me as special and important. Over time, I felt the same fascination with Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Motherwell, Lee Godie and Mose Tolliver.
You’d be surprised to know that…
I worked as a carpenter for two years.
What’s currently intriguing you in design?
I love what’s happening in lighting design and am keeping tabs on Allied Maker for its mix of materials, Mark Sturkenboom for his crystalized, antique chandeliers and Areti for its exploration of symmetry and asymmetry.
Best advice you’ve received related to your work.
Don’t hang your own art in your home. Also, while there may be a lot of rejection, keep putting your stuff out there anyway.