BY TAMMY SCILEPPI
What will change society faster than politics? There are those who believe it might be art, freedom and creativity. It seems that belief is an important part of artist, activist and Queens native Eileen Coyne’s raison d’etre.
If you’re curious, you can view her intriguing masterpieces at Q.E.D.’s newest art installation celebrating her work — which has been described as truly beautiful and often quite powerful — at the free opening night reception, scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The collection will remain on view and for sale through the end of June at 27-16 23rd Ave. in Astoria.
Since its opening, Q.E.D.’s gallery has featured rotating works from local artists, including photographers, painters, as well as experimental artwork.
“As a woman-owned and operated venue in a male dominated industry, it gives me great pleasure to highlight the work of a fellow woman artist. I’m especially thrilled to have Coyne’s pieces that evoke a powerful message of feminism, strength and perseverance,” said Q.E.D. creator Kambri Crews, a Queens resident.
Coyne, who lives and works in Long Island City, has exhibited extensively in Queens, most notably at the non-profit arts advocacy organization LIC-A’s The Plaxall Gallery, as well as at The Factory (both of which are showcasing her work now), The Local Project, Citibank and Astoria’s Chateau Le Woof. Her work has also been featured in the Huffington Post and resides in many private collections.
“As a painter, I am most interested in capturing the emotional complexity of humanity. I also use my art as a means to advocate for social issues that matter deeply to me,” she said.
“Art has been a therapeutic tool for me since childhood. Growing up in an Irish, working-class family in a slowly deteriorating steel town in Western Pennsylvania, I was intrigued by the social and racial diversity in my community.”
The activist/artist received her art education in Queens, at The Bridgeview School of Fine Arts. She is a proud member of LIC Artists, Inc. (LIC-A). It is there that she found a supportive and diverse community of professional Queens-based artists and was an artist-in-residence at their Plaxall Gallery home in 2018.
“While other art forms entered my life at various stages, most notably dance and theatre, painting people remains my greatest form of expression,” Coyne said. “My time in the theatre allowed me the opportunity to work in Europe where I was introduced to the German expressionists. I am inspired by the work of Soutine, Schiele, Kokoschka, Beckmann and Lucien Freud to name a few. I admire their unique ability, with heavy use of paint, to dissect the human psyche on their canvas.
“In this unprecedented political climate, I see my work evolving to reflect more poignantly my social and political beliefs.”