African adinka symbol Portrait of Carol Foy

Portrait of Carol Foy by
Mark Blackshear

Spiritual Expressionism by Geoffrey Jacques

Brooklyn painter Carol Foy is an eclectic and productive artist whose canvases reflect her deep love of Impressionist surfaces and her symbolist concerns that are themselves linked with her spirituality. A painter since her grammar school days, Foy is part of the community of artists whose work has graced the various community fairs and galleries of Fort Greene and neighboring communities for decades.

To say this work is eclectic is to honor a vision whose sensuality and almost other-worldliness is unique. She follows no schools, but has learned from a wide range of schools. Although she paints both figurative and abstract work, her surfaces tend toward the exploration of form and color. These are fiery paintings, filled with passion. At the same time, the passion can be seen in spiritual terms, as the passion one brings to the devotion to God. This tension within Foy’s work, between the earth-bound and the spiritual, is the quality that gives her work its dynamism, its heft.

In her piece Soulmates (1999), for instance, two figures, illuminated, almost transcendent beings, face a shimmering yellow field, whose surface hovers between a completely abstract and an almost natural, sun-lit, infinity. In many of Foy’s paintings, such as Fusing Hearts (2000), the erotic and the spiritual play against each other, in a kind of intriguing dialogue. At the same time, the pure play of color in paintings such as It Takes an Entire Village (1998), demonstrates all of these qualities in a work whose abstract surface is a visual, sensual, treat.

Foy calls her style "spiritual expressionism." It is, she says, "a very intimate and private expression of myself as a human being, as well as a passionate, God-fearing messenger of God." Both human intimacy and transcendental symbolism are on display in these paintings. And their delicacy is well worth long moments of careful viewing.


Painting: Our Time Is Now

Our Time Is Now, 2005
Oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches

GEOFFREY JACQUES is a poet, art critic and a longtime observer of the Brooklyn art scene. His work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including NKA Journal of Contemporary African Art, ArtForum International, and A Gathering of the Tribes. His latest book of poems is Just for a Thrill (Wayne State University Press).

Painting: Figure Landscape

Nature is housed in the body of a woman. She holds the secrets to life and solitude.
—Carol Foy

Figure Landscape, 1977
Oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches

Painting: Fusing Hearts

Love consumes your essence. The meshing and synchronizing of the hearts reaches a climax of cohesion and rhythm.
—Carol Foy

Fusing Hearts, 2000
Oil on canvas
18 x 30 inches

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by Carol Foy
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