From August 23rd to September 30th, BoxHeart Gallery presents Thomas Bigatel: Giving Up the Ghost (and select visual reflections). The artwork presented in Thomas Bigatel: Giving Up the Ghost (and select visual reflections) references the human process of surrendering to and overcoming life’s obstacles. Working with a strictly spontaneous and pure approach to the act of painting and sculpting, Bigatel creates from a truly intrinsic place. He reflects upon personal experiences and transfers this energy onto his canvases and into his sculptures with bursts of color and movement.
Organized by Nicole Capozzi and Joshua Hogan, owners of BoxHeart Gallery, the artwork selected for Thomas Bigatel: Giving Up the Ghost (and select visual reflections) explores themes of reflection and surrender and showcases a flowing synchronicity between a vigorous energy and a peaceful serenity.
About the Exhibition
The opportunity to hold his mother’s hand, stroke her soft, white hair, and whisper in her ear “Thank You, I Love You” as she took her last earthly breath was an extremely profound moment in Bigatel’s life. He grieved, and still carries the sadness of her loss. The experience of loss connects us to one another. It is a ghost we all encounter, at times haunting and seemingly perpetual, but not without the possibility of proceeding on with our lives in a new way.
Bigatel uses the act of spontaneous painting and sculpting to reflect upon his experiences and surrender to them, not by giving up and certainly not by forgetting, but by shaping the experience towards growth and defining his own truth. Bigatel uses specially crafted brushes and tools that allow for the manipulation of oil paint to create depth, translucency, and illuminating intensity. His abstract paintings and sculptures are invitations to explore an inherent and intimate flow of color and motion, a visual representation of the process of emergence. Bigatel takes conscious actions while painting and sculpting. In his paintings, ribbons of color that float above the surface of the canvas are achieved with a wet on wet technique. This movement of color and shape is pushed and pulled, capturing in tandem the feeling of release or capture, hold on or let go. In his sculpture, form is lured out into existence only to be reduced and refined. The scavenged wood Bigatel selects already contains the expression of his experience. His sculpting process is to sense and theorize it through form. In both artistic processes, beauty is excavated from within to reveal Bigatel’s own personal truth.
Bigatel explains, “Think deeply, accept and release your own ‘Ghosts’. Heal. With all of the turmoil, discord, and ignorance in our world my hope is that my artwork speaks in an uplifting and positive light, bringing a flowing synchronicity of a vigorous energy and a peaceful serenity into your life”.
Bigatel (b.1959) was born in Allentown Pennsylvania. Over the past 15-20 years, Bigatel has discovered his own unique voice through an intrinsic evolution of experimentation and tenacity. His artwork has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and universities. A few notable exhibitions of his artwork include; The Spirit and the Soul (solo ’97) at Studio Z in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Images at State College Pennsylvania (group ’00, ’01, ’07), Spring Exhibition (group ’01, ’02) at Nemacolin Resort in Farmington Pennsylvania, Associated Artist of Pittsburgh (group ’01) at The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Universal Expressions: Movement in Multiple Dimensions (two person ’11) at 709 Gallery in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Gathering Atmospheres (group ‘12) at CCBC Gallery in Baltimore Maryland. Many of his paintings have been purchased for private and corporate collections including Accenture Corporation, PNC, and Dollar Bank. His lives and works in Glenshaw Pennsylvania.
Thomas Bigatel: Giving Up the Ghost (and select visual reflections) will be on exhibit from August 23rd to September 30th in BoxHeart’s main Gallery. The exhibition coincides with BoxHeart’s 2nd floor exhibit, Understanding Drips: A Dr. Armbruster Adventure in Research by Keith Garubba. The reception with the artists will be held Saturday, August 27th from 5 to 8pm. It is free and open to the public.