Artist Bio & Statement
Tania LaCaria (b. 1985) is an Italian-Canadian artist with a BA in Fine Arts (York University 2006) and a CIDA advanced diploma in Interior Design (Sheridan College 2009). LaCaria has traveled extensively, collecting inspiration from the various cultures and countries she’s lived in, namely in Central America and Southeast Asia. LaCaria’s playful and expressive approach to her life is emulated in her work through strong gestures and bold colours.
LaCaria’s paintings embrace an Abstract Expressionism aesthetic through an introspective, personal perspective. She explores the concept of paradox in her work (the idea that conflicting realities can exist at the exact same time) through themes based in gender, sexuality, social structure/class systems, body politics, love and relationships. For LaCaria, the painting process is a full-body experience with certain elements holding particularly special significance. Considering the colour black to be a representation of herSelf, she frequently applies black gestures as the first or second marks on the painted surfaces. Keen to place play and experimentation at the forefront, LaCaria uses a wide variety of paints, inks and eccentric tools such as brooms, sponges, rolling pins, clothing, and credit cards that support her intuitive and adventurous creative process.
The playful and aloof approach LaCaria takes in creating her work is directly juxtaposed by the raw and often painful vulnerability she expresses in the tone of her paintings. Her willingness to address pain, depression, grief, infidelity, self-doubt and oppression is rooted in the desire to establish an emotional connection with others by giving viewers permission to normalize these difficult emotions by identifying them in themselves. LaCaria’s paintings are about her and the lens she uses to view her life and the lives of others around her – the themes she explores are easily relatable as part of a human experience everyone shares.
In today’s “Rising Stars”, we show five works from three of Tania’s collections,
Enough is Enough, Dreamscape, and Mirror.
Enough is Enough Collection
This collection highlights the type of life experiences that push us to say Enough is Enough – stories about betrayal, manipulation, abuse, control and a lack of rights for women.
Inspired by the current state of affairs in the USA after the overturning of Roe vs. Wade in which men are once again making decisions for women and their bodies in order to keep minorities controlled and silenced – this type of manipulation and abuse is something that cis women, the trans community and other minorities have experienced in the home for years. Disguising the criminalization of abortion as a pro-life decision is a disservice to the people who are losing the right to live their lives on their own terms. Abuse, neglect, gas-lighting and manipulation are tactics used by the oppressor to maintain control over a person, or in this case, an entire group of people. The name Pat is used to address the Patriarchy throughout this collection.
This collection is an expression of rage directed at those who have the audacity to claim to be acting in the best interest of those whom they are controlling.
You’re great at keeping score, but you missed the wins, triumphs, anniversaries, birthdays, milestones, gifts, days, years, moments, memories, groceries, chores, laundry. You’re so good at counting, at keeping score. Just wanted to remind you: so are we. And enough is enough.
Keeping Score – Enough is Enough Collection, 2022
46” x 46” x 1.5”
Acrylic, flashe, pencil, pastel on canvas
This collection is inspired by the intangible way we experience past memories and recall dreams. When you’re actively dreaming, it’s impossible to distinguish imagination from reality. The subconscious presents this dreamscape dimension vividly: shapes are defined, faces are recognizable and settings are clear – but after waking and reflecting on the narrative, everything that seemed solid and realistic suddenly seems hazy, uncertain, unclear. Memories are like this, too. Depending on our perspective, or the mood we’re in when we conjour them, memories are ever-shifting: they can move from sweet to sour, from truth to lie, the extreme moments stand out from the mundane. Both dreams and memories exist in the extremes. They’re usually labelled in our minds as clear vs. confusing, good vs. bad, joyful vs. painful…but this is simply our human experience attempting to make the most sense of a subconscious experience. In reality, both recollections are held together by a baseline of “grey area”. This collection serves to explore the tenuous tie that binds paradox, and how it is whimsical and fleeting in its existence, ever-changing and dynamic.
Triumph – Dreamscape Collection, 2022
70” x 50” x 1.5”
Flashe, acrylic, pastel on canvas
She met herSelf at the shoreline in the Dreamworld, two selves from different times meeting face to face. And she said, “You’re safe here, we did it,” to her younger Self, and for the first time in years she believed it. She pulled herSelf close and whispered, “I love you,” into her own heart and her sweet voice echoed through all dimensions.
The Mirror collection is an exploration of who people are according to themselves vs. who people appear to be to others, and whether these two “identities” are actually one in the same or entirely different personas. The artist asks the question of whether or not one’s sense of Self can exist without the context of who she is according to other people.
The reflection one sees of themselves in a mirror is an inverted image of what others see – a mirror, the tool we use to view ourselves, is not even an accurate depiction of what we look like to others.
The mirror is an unreliable source of reflection but it’s ironically used daily to ensure “we look our best” or “look like ourselves” before facing other people. The artist is exploring the concepts of truth and perception as it relates to the Self, and whether or not the identities people claim as their own are naturally formed and inherited at birth or fabricated and curated over the years as a result of life experiences and the influence of other people.
The artist used personal items including clothing, shoes and cosmetics to create these pieces, focusing on the juxtaposition between line work and fluid forms to express the tension between the varying degrees of masculine and feminine energies the artist has identified in herSelf.
There’s nothing to prove, just life to live.
32-25-34 – Mirror Collection, 2022
46” x 46” x 1.5”
Flashe, acrylic, pastel, charcoal on canvas
Audacity – Mirror Collection, 2022
60” x 48″ x 1.5”
Flashe, acrylic, palo santo, conte stick on canvas
Have the audacity to be who you want to be.
Have the audacity to introduce yourself with a title you care to keep.
Have the audacity to look them straight in the eye as you challenge their limiting beliefs.
Have the audacity to shove the self-doubt aside – who gave that nasty little voice in your head so much power anyways?
Have the audacity to be confident. Have the audacity to push the limits to the very edge.
Have the audacity to keep climbing when it’s a struggle – the view is always better from the top.
Running in place, head and heart floating high in the clouds grasping for air without any relief. Feet planted firmly, trapped in the in between. Stuck on pause. A new record skipping on the turntable. A rabbit caught in the barbed wire. A resistance, a desperation for progress. Stunted by the fear of the unknown. An obsession over the how, the when, the what ifs?, the what’s nexts? A complete disgust for the now, the present. Defensive, rebelliously impatient, defiantly ungrateful, paralyzed, floating, sinking, always staying, never going… stuck.
Stuck 21– Mirror Collection, 2022
58″ x 46″ x 1.5″
Flashe, acrylic, ink on canvas
For more information about the artist, please visit:
All Photographs courtesy of Tania LaCaria