Seeing Southwest Florida Very Differently

Four local artists describe how they interpret their surroundings.

Mally Khorasantchi Roots of Feeling V oil  Driving home from her studio, Mally Khorasantchi often imagines painting the white stripes in the middle of the road in the luscious colors she’s left behind on her palette. Known for the spirited range of hues in her abstract paintings—from soft dove grays and watery blues to brilliant red, hot pink and tangerine tones—Khorasantchi is nothing if not emotionally expressive in her color choices. “As soon as I start to paint, I’m totally connected to color,” she says. “I love to express myself through it, and it makes me absolutely joyous.” At the heart of her work is an attraction to the mysterious forces of the natural world in Southwest Florida, particularly in the mangrove forests along the coast. “The mangroves are a magic forest to me. There’s something spiritual in there—along with the mud and snakes and crawly things,” she adds with a quick smile. She believes the plants are an emblem of the dynamic pattern of life, with their constant cycle of decay balanced by the simultaneous upwelling of fresh sprouts. Her recent work, such as the large mixed-media The Hidden Secrets of Trees #1, presents a rich and chaotic vision of the world as a place in constant flux. Waves of form and color wash over the viewer, carrying both strong feelings and near-silent whispers of information contained in intricate bits
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