I consider myself lucky. Every day is spent working in my studio. There is no where I would rather be and nothing I would rather do. Though my art, I construct a world of memory, humor, and stories. Best of all I get to live in that world and invite others in. My live and art are best when on a continuous roll, including everything I desire: Love, Happiness, Good Friends, Success, and a Working Concrete Mixer
" I have been stockpiling junk, images, and ideas for years, and and in the past 10 years it has all come together in a totality," says Judy Onofrio. "My art, environment, and life have merged as one."
This declaration is not taken lightly from an artist who has worked in forms as diverse as ceramics, soft sculpture, fiber art, installation, and performance over the course of thirty years. "I made a lot of art before I made my own." Onofrio's artistic homecoming coincides with the building of a new studio, which opens to her hillside backyard. Immediately, she began filling the three-acre site with mosaic-encrusted shrines, benches, and environments. Dubbed "Judyland" the garden is a natural extension of Onofrio's studio work: sturdy mixed-media sculptures lavishly embellished with ceramic, glass, shell, tin, and assorted found objects follies which the artist, an avid collector, gathers at flea markets. "My work is figurative. Women with red lipstick, and men with green hats, apples, snakes, fish, and flowers all live in a garden fantasy, passion and desire."
Largely self-taught, Onofrio takes inspiration from visionary artists, such as Simon Rodai, who built Watts Tower. And interestedly enough, Judyland is not only a culmination of productive life in art, but something of a legacy. Onofrio's great aunt Trude, a southern "outsider" artist, worked in a similar fashion some fifty years ago, creating a garden strewn with beautiful, idiosyncratic art.
Bush Artist Fellows 1998 - Bush Foundation
|photo by Gus Gustafson, portrait by Rik Sferra|