Riley Strom is a visual artist from Los Angeles, California. In 2013 she
received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. From 2014 Strom
co-founded the 99¢ Plus Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. She is
currently living and working in Philadelphia, where she will receive
her MFA in Painting from the Tyler School of Art in 2020. Presently
at Tyler, Strom’s makes large oil paintings that explore themes of
memory, performance, and identity.
In “Albero”, the artist Riley Strom’s objective is to observe and reproduce Castilblanco de Los Arroyos through abstract oil painting. Strom chose to take advantage of working in a new location to focus on immolating the specificity of light and color that characterizes the region of the residency. She pre-mixed the palette for each painting at a different location near the residency according to the colors of the natural landscape and time of the day. She then used the palette to make each painting on paper, producing either completely abstract compositions or utilizing reoccurring motifs of the religious sites, architecture and natural terrane in the village.
Specific elements that can be found in Strom’s paintings includes Spanish Baroque decoration, Islamic calligraphic brushstrokes, as well as Catholic symbols such as the 6 pointed star and tears of the weeping virgin Mary. These motifs are organized around the aesthetic principle of repetition, an ode to the repetitive geometric and organic patterning distinctive of the Islamic influence on Spanish architecture.