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Consisting of dark colors and an array of brush strokes, Kamiesha Garbadawala’s As A Whole painting is breathtaking. It was featured this summer, positioned in the center of the back wall of Galleria Ca’ D’Oro in Chelsea. The up-and-coming abstract expressionist of Jamaican descent was raised in Connecticut but she describes how her lineage and culture penetrate through her medium, “it’s still a huge part of who I am. I think it’s not so much a direct Jamaican inspiration, but more of the mood portrayed in my art.”

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On a humid weekday afternoon in early August, after so many DMs of fangirling over each other, I finally got to take in Kamiesha Garbadawala’s majestic canvases at her sunny studio in Long Island City. Garbadawala arrived to painting organically and emotionally, through some serious health scares and loss of family. “My work is a reflection of my life experiences”, she shared with me in her space, while elegantly dressed in a black ruffled wrap dress and high strappy heels.

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Art has allowed me to express myself in a way that I had not been able to through other forms of communication. I am comfortable speaking through my art. So in that sense, I want my children to have the freedom to express their feelings and emotions through whatever outlet they choose, including art. I believe art can be therapeutic both by creating it and by interacting with it, and I hope my art speaks to people in a way that brings comfort.

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