Lydia Viscardi American, b. 1952

Lydia Viscardi through her soft touch often seems to look back to times that present safe vignettes into a more stylized  and maybe better time. Taking for example, in her series: Hear and After, with obvious connotations towards what lies  beyond our existence, the works present a version of what could be heaven above and an inferno below and  somewhere ‘stuck’ in the middle are Viscardi’s characters often ‘caught’ in idyllic settings of a life presumably  undisturbed. The disturbance though permeates the canvas suggesting, naturally a balance but also the limitations of all  that lives - lives perfectly packaged and presented not only to the viewer, but also to the artist The struggle though  between the ‘above’ and ‘below’ is clearly seen and understood in Travel Agency. Starting just with the name - the idea of  a woman being the agency of travel, even though all births travel through her body, the association of the feminine to  the phallic vessels of transportation, are not expected. Viscardi, though is not having this - instead in the above  mentioned work, the middle vignette focuses on a woman - possible a woman from the Antebellum who on one  surface stimulates notions of Scarlett O’Hara, but also in the same moment, when looking at the complete composition  - invites comparisons with the archangel Michael, thereby elevating the position of the feminine and affording her with  characteristics of a guide, and not the subjected follower many want her to be.