Skip to main content

Laconia Gallery


Snark Hunting

Lisa Costanzo

Friday, May 4, 2007 to Saturday, June 23, 2007

cropped image of an eye

Snark Hunting: Paintings and works on paper by Lisa Costanzo

a mysterious, imaginary animal.
[Origin: 1876; coined by Lewis Carroll in his poem The Hunting of the Snark]

The Laconia Gallery is honored to present the first solo show for Lisa Costanzo.

This new body of work takes its inspiration from the works of Lewis Carroll, whose stories and poems are a fantastic source of imagery and mythic themes. Loosely based on Carroll’s nonsense poem “The Hunting of the Snark”, and with a nod to the colorful characters from the “Alice” series, Costanzo creates her own hybrid characters as individuals with their own demands for specific portrayal. Costanzo gives her own fresh take on things by weaving elements of previous work into the story much like Carroll did, in which elements of language and symbols repeat themselves. Costanzo has created her own strange and awkward wonderland where she makes up her own peculiar story.

Costanzo divides this body of work into two parts.

In the first series of paintings are found Victorian beach and hunting themes, period clothing and images from fashion magazines. Fused together with elements of Carroll’s characters they create a new narrative in which a collection of bumbling child/adult hybrids wanders about.

The second series presents a collection of playful and wacky drawings and works on paper depicting composites which suggest what the mysterious “snark” might look like. These include human/animal hybrids, land and sea creatures, and monsters from Costanzo’s past and those from her eccentric imagination.

This new body of work marks a step away from Costanzo’s smaller, more delicate drawings and works on paper of the last two years and moves back to some of her earlier large scale paintings and drawings, but this time with a limited palette. The artist continues to explore issues of gender, identity, personal history, and portraiture with her distinctive playful and curious twist on things.

Lisa Costanzo received both a diploma and 5th Year certificate in 2000 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She was awarded a traveling scholarship that same year and participated in an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work was recently included in the Northeast edition of New American paintings.