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Artist Statement – Dara Altobelli

Much of my work is inspired and learned from the artists and poets of the New York School.  The impetus and courage of abstract expressionist painting in the 1950s changed the art world and its definition of art.  As I paint, and what I paint, is a record of personal transitions through my life and the influence these artists have had on my work.

I prefer to present multimedia abstract versions of real sightings, writings, images, and experiences. I find abstraction a compelling and ironic way to represent my primary inspiration.   Once inspired by something, I am immediately removed from it when trying to capture it in my work.  You will often find words, drawings or markings, embedded in my work, which represent the initial inspiration for that piece.

I am reluctant to describe my work in detail as I feel art should stand on its own and compel the viewer.  I believe the words of Josef Albers that “Art is concerned with something that cannot be explained by words or literal description.  Art is revelation instead of information, expression instead of description.”


Artist Bio – Dara Altobelli

Dara was born and raised in the Boston area and introduced to the art world through her undergraduate (BA) studies in art history, studio and visual arts.  She began painting in college and exhibited her works in local and community-based shows in the Boston area.  Jointly, Dara began her career in science and technology roles working at several Boston area medical and research facilities.

In 1990, Dara moved west to California accepting a job in the growing excitement of Silicon Valley opportunity.  She settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, establishing a career in high tech and her studies during this time included a completed MBA degree.  There was never a fair balance between her art and meeting the requirements of a corporate world career but over the next 25 years she made some time for her creative work and studies.

Dara moved into a loft space in the late 1990’s and began to paint again.  She completed studio work and studies at San Francisco Art Institute, California College of Art and UC Berkeley.  She studied and read her favorite painters and poets – Frankenthaler, O’Hara, Richter, Mitchell and Emerson.  She continued to paint on a part time basis while working and began to exhibit her work locally participating in multiple group shows and annual open studio events in the Bay Area.

Dara’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions over many years and is now included in both private and commercial collections on both the East and West coasts.  The core of her work continues to be abstract expressionism painting influenced by artists of the New York School.

In 2020, Dara left the Bay Area for Palm Springs, California.  She retired from the corporate world in 2022 and found a new studio to rededicate herself to her art.  She is finally calling herself a full-time artist and has established her own business (Studio 9) exhibiting and selling her work.  She has participated in multiple exhibitions in Coachella Valley including Create Center for the Arts, Artists Council at the Galen, Desert Art Center and 2023 Desert Open Studios.

Dara’s work is currently represented at the JJ Harrington Gallery in Cathedral City, CA and may also be found through her business, Studio 9 and her website

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