“Through my portrait work, I aim to honor the subject as best I can—hoping to convey personality and story. I’m also interested in connection, for people to look a painting in the eyes and recognize something in themselves. I want to remind the viewer of our relentless strength and beauty as humans, the things we have in common and the things that set us apart.”
Allison Adams was born in Dana Point, California to an artistic family where self-expression was encouraged. The family moved around internationally, coloring her outlook on humanity from an early age. She began to take interest in the diversity of people, recognizing that we have more that makes us similar than different, and both of those things can connect us. As a contemporary artist, she identifies most with the Pop Art movement of the 50s and 60s, and draws constant inspiration from brave humans of the past and present.
After earning her BFA from California Institute of the Arts, Allison set off on a multi-disciplinary career. She is best known for her stylized oil portraits, mostly of women. She’s interested in creating distinct shapes and blocks of color but also in evoking personality and emotion, hoping to tell a story through the eyes, and create a deeper human connection between the viewer and the painting.
The Groundbreaking Girls portrait project began simply as a search for inspiration. As a newly widowed parent, Allison found strength and empowerment in the stories of influential women throughout history. She aims to honor these women through their faces and remind the viewer of our long legacy as women: passionate, courageous, determined, innovative, intelligent, creative, caring, fierce.
On March 24, 2018, OC Contemporary Gallery hosted an event exhibiting Allison’s Groundbreaking Girls, in honor of Women’s History Month. The event was well received and highly praised.