Borg deNobel paints on the boundaries of dreams. Her images derive from a place where primitive schema and sophisticated colors combine to become metaphors for lived and imagined experiences. Intentionally de-schooled and vibrant with forcefully painted surfaces, her work has an “in-your-face’ quality. There are echoes of neo-expressionism and Punk Rock, updated with cautious optimism, subtle humor and empathy.
Offering select clues to decipher, deNobel’s canvases become mysterious signs that are destined to mean different things to different viewers. Seduced by their apparent naïveté and provoked by their honesty, we are simultaneously compelled to reflect on our own associations with the forms portrayed and with cultured expectations of painting. Though deNobel toys expertly with the relationship between language and image when she juxtaposes recognizable forms, anyone looking for a story is likely to come up empty-handed. As titles such as Ice Flowers, Sleep is King and Dog in the Mist suggest, this is poetry, not prose. Her work is both charming and blunt . . . comfortably accessible on some levels and infectiously out of reach on others.
As a whole, deNobel’s paintings comprise the diary of a fearless traveler in unconscious realms. We are wise to follow her lead, for such telling experiences of life and art begin deep in the mind.