In her bright, shiny and over-the-top paintings, Virginia’s Lou Haney explores the excess, absurdity, and intensity of American culture.
Artist: The Alabama native, grew up in Decatur. She went to Rhodes College in Memphis, where she explored the technical qualities – glossy and plastic – of acrylic paint. After graduating with a BA, she spent seven months as an art teacher at a small parish school in Cooma, Australia.
Haney returned to the US to pursue an MFA in painting at Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, CA, where her work began to change.
After graduate school, she moved back to the South, living in Nashville, Johnson City and Oxford, MS. In 2014, she moved to Charlottesville, where she works from her downtown studio.
Art & materials: Mostly paintings, using acrylic paint for its plasticity and color saturation. But she dabbles in other mediums, such as printmaking and textiles.
Subjects in her paintings range from rooms to cakes and objects. “I like stuff and the stories that stuff tells about people,” said Haney.
What’s popular: Paintings ($450 to $4,500).
Other favorites: Textile pieces, such as wall hangings, stretched stitched pieces and pillows ($100 to $500).
Favorite tool: Painter’s tape
- Marimekko, Vera, and 1970s florals of all types.
- Works of Hilary Pecis, Alex Ega, and Robert Kushner.
- The Pattern and Decoration movement.
Fun or special commissions: After seeing an Instagram post of a Haney painting of a baby blue Cadillac from the 1970s called “Barbara Blue,” (pictured at right) a follower contacted the artist.
She asked Haney to paint her late mother in law’s “famous” 1963 blue mustang as a gift to the client’s father in law
- Spring/Break Art Fair, “Deja View,” a two-person show with Virginia-based artist Sharon Shapiro in NYC, 2022.
- New American Paintings, Issue 160, South,
- Semi-finalist, Bethesda Painting Awards, Bethesda, MD, 2022.
- Exhibition Award, ArtFields 2022, Lake City, SC, 2022.
- Virginia Center for Creative Arts Residency, Amherst, VA, 2022.
Recent project: “Presented in Technicolor,” at Jones-Carter Gallery, Lake City, SC. In this exhibition, which will run from June 9-Aug.12, Haney slowly created a “dream home.” Each room is inspired by a different color.
What’s next: Solo show at Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, VA, in April 2024.
Where to buy: LouHaney.com
Get social: Instagram: @Lou_Haney