I grew up in Alabama, with my mom and five siblings. My dad left us when I was little while we were in Florida visiting my grandparents and as a result our lives changed forever. My mom had not worked in over 20 years and my father's departure left us without any financial support. Almost overnight, we went from an easy middle-class family to barely struggling to survive. We never quite fit in-- we lived in a good neighborhood, but we could not afford it. We went to good schools, but we never had the right clothes, shoes, or car. My once-friends grew distant and I sought new friendships in a group of "alternative" kids - the smart kids who were into music, literature, and the arts. This group had exposure to more than football and religion and were interested in forging their own paths in life. I am not sure that I exactly fit in with this group either, but they had a culture of acceptance and my understanding of the world expanded greatly through their friendship.
At home we struggled. My mom worked first and third shifts and us kids took on an odd assortment of jobs to help pay the bills. There was a great deal of hardship and along with it pain and embarrassment. We tired to hide our needs and were the definition of a DIY family long before it was cool. We lived under a façade, pretending to be something we were not and yet defiantly unwilling to accept that we were not part of the very society that pushed us to the margins. We worked hard and managed, but I always felt we were invisible and struggling to work within some system where we did not know the rules.
"My artwork reflects my life, the struggles that happed me and still inform who I am today" , Anne Stagg
My artwork reflects my life. the struggles that shaped me and still inform who I am today. I use the language of abstraction to explore tension and seek balance. I often use facades or patterns to create a feeling of constancy but within them. I typically embed some flaws or limitations--creating a space where the system does not quite fit or work out perfectly. I am interested in creating an allusion of mechanical precision that gives way under scrutiny. Color and pattern are ever present elements in my labor-intensive paintings, and I use them to create a push-pull relationship. Whether referencing the invisibility of the working class, or the desire to hide any perceived shortcomings within a veil of subterfuge, or a network so large that the individual too often gets lost, my work addresses systemic imbalance and a struggle to be noticed.
Written by: Anne Stagg, Featured Artist of June 2021 at Gallery 120
Learn more about Anne here and view her June 2021 exhibit online at