Harlequin parrot - Mixed Media on Canvas
Born in Milan, Margherita La Gioia who paints under the name of Margherita Joy, is an italian artist based in Dublin. Her passion for artistic expression and visual arts led her to study in Rome, earning a bachelor's degree in the Theory of Fine Arts, Theatre and Music. Living in Milan, Margherita was filled with a desire to express herself and create art not merely study it, she picked up a paint brush and painted a mural on a wall in her apartment. Since then, she has devoted all of her time towards translating her thoughts, feelings, dreams and experiences onto canvas.
Bold and bright swirling colours and fun, almost child-like, themes characterise her expressionist surrealist style that are reminiscent of Chagall. Playful figures, exotic animals, birds and plants feature constantly in her paintings. She confesses that she rarely plans each painting, preferring the "free flow" approach and pouring her stream of consciousness onto the canvas which is evident by the continuous lines in her fluid brushstrokes.
She describes her work as "the physical manifest of her thoughts and dreams which she tries to grab onto before they run away". Her early work was heavily infleunced by the lively cosmopolitan cities of Europe, such as Rome. In these works, she sought to capture the hustle and bustle of city life yet harmonising urban and natural beauty.
Since moving to Ireland, her work has become influenced by Irish themes. Frequent trips across Ireland, including visits to Newgrange and Glendalough inspired her depictions of the Irish landscape and the use of the spiral, the Celtic symbol of life. Neolithic Irish art also inspired her to experiment with texture and her most recent work utilise techniques that give her paintings a more tactile appearance, yet still retains her distinct playfulness with line and colour.
She has enjoyed considerable success in recent years exhibiting in both group and solo exhibitions in Italy and in Dublin, and winning 2nd place in the Female Artists Competition- Spring 2008 held at the Eustachi Gallery in her town of Milan. She also took part in international exhibitions such as the Beijing Art Fair in October 2008.