Figurative Artist Valerie Feo Thrives in Her Studio by the Beach

Figurative Artist Valerie Feo Thrives in Her Studio by the Beach

When the pandemic struck, Valerie Feo turned her apartment into a studio and decided to ride things out on the South Jersey Shore. Being laid off from a demanding full-time job gave her the chance to devote unlimited time to art while she hunkered down near the beach. Losing her day gig also allowed her to find venues to exhibit her work, including a museum in Genoa, Italy, and the International Contemporary Art Fair in Paris.

Not Real Art Artist Of The Day Series

In addition to painting and lining up an impressive roster of exhibition opportunities in the U.S. and abroad, Feo received an award from Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, and was invited to participate in an artist’s residency in France. After being locked in a ‘soul-sucking’ grind since earning her BFA from Stockton University, she was thrilled to have time to focus on herself.

2020 changed everything. March of last year I was laid off from my very demanding job and for the first time since college, I had all the time in the world to explore my art…. There is no turning back for me. No matter the audience or what critics may say, I believe in myself and my art. I welcome critics and anyone who wants to alienate me from this world. It is where I belong…

Motivated by “fashion, color and bold muses who are not afraid to stand out,” Feo creates Cubist and Fauvist-inspired paintings based on characters in the world around her. She draws her muses from figures in the media, and people she sees on the street, who exude self-confidence and style. Using vibrating colors and lines, and playing with contrasts of hue and saturation, Feo blends acrylics, colored pencil, and oil pastels in her dynamic works on paper and figurative canvases. Her paintings of fiercely confident women reflect a renewed belief in her skills as an artist, and assert her right to reclaim a seat at the creative table.

Table of Contents

Valerie Feo — Artist Statement

Valerie Feo

My body of work consists of characters who range in emotion yet all have a sense of confidence and sureness in themselves. Whether they look worrisome or poised, there is a fierceness in their eyes. I paint them with strong, bold lines and in vibrant colors. Each piece begins with a muse. These muses can be top editorial fashion models or someone passing by in the street boldly standing out in their uniqueness. Vibrant colors, culture and unconventional beauty wrapped in confidence is what inspires me.

While each work begins with the inspiration of a muse, their emotion stems from how I am feeling that day. It is therapeutic for me to reflect on each piece and identify where this feeling was coming from. But like my paintings, I let myself feel the range in emotions throughout life but always continue on with a sense of sureness in myself. I hope my work inspires the viewers to do the same.

Valerie Feo – Grant Submission Work

Valerie Feo. Jade.
Mixed Media: Oil pastel, acrylic paint, color pencil on paper
17 x 14 inches

*Featured in "Kromatic@rt exhibition at M.A.D.S gallery in Milan, Italy

Valerie Feo. Blurred Vision.
"Blurred Vision"
Oil pastel, acrylic paint, colored pencil on paper
17 x 14 inches
Valerie Feo. High Standards.
"High Standards"
Acrylic on gallery canvas
24 x 48 x 1.5 inches

*Will be featured in the International Contemporary Fair in Paris (postponed from original date of January 29 – 31, 2021 to rescheduled date June 18 – 20, 2021)

Valerie Feo. The Romantic
"The Romantic"
Oil pastel, acrylic paint, colored pencil on paper
17 x 14 inches

*As seen in House and Garden UK Magazine

Valerie Feo. Beloved
Acrylic on gallery canvas
48 x 24 inches

Artist Bio

Valerie Feo is an American figurative artist who resides by the beach in South Jersey. She is a graduate from Stockton University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Throughout her adult years, Valerie’s passion for art never dimmed but took the backseat to her full time job. However, when COVID-19 hit and quarantine went into place, Valerie turned her new apartment into a working studio. Valerie created day and night with more time than ever to focus solely on her art.

Valerie began to receive international recognition. Her work “High Standards” was featured in September’s 2020 month long exhibition “Eureka” at the Palazzo Ducale Museum in Genoa, Italy. Valerie will also be a featured artist under the Van Gogh Gallery in Madrid, Spain in the upcoming 2021 International Contemporary Fair in Paris. Most recently, Valerie was honored with the Collector’s Vision International Art Award from the Contemporary Art Curator Magazine which will be published in early May.

Valerie is inspired by fashion, color and bold muses who are not afraid to stand out.

Valerie Feo on the Web And Social Media

Here’s where to find out more about Valerie on the web and social media:

About the Artist of the Day Series

All artworks have been published with permission of the artist. Our "Artist of the Day" series is a regular feature highlighting artworks from the 100's of grant applications we receive. The "Not Real Art Grant" is an annual award designed to empower the careers of contemporary artists, and this is one way we honor all entries we receive. Find out more about the grant program here.

Kirsten Bengtson-Lykoudis

Kirsten Bengtson-Lykoudis is a writer, photographer, and former New York gallerist based in Richmond, Virginia. She has a masters in fine art, a BA in Russian literature, and is earning a masters in nonfiction writing at Johns Hopkins University, AAP.