Dasha Reich is always searching for inspiration. So it came naturally, for her upcoming show at the Art Ovation Hotel, that she’d call upon a lifetime of travel, culture and experience. “The exhibition is called Life’s Silk Road because I’ve lived in so many places in my life and everything has influenced me and stayed with me. It started with Prague, where I was born, and continues to Jerasulem, where I studied, then to New York City, and now Sarasota. With this show even though the paintings are very much abstract they reminded me of my travels,” says Reich. Reich is an abstract painter and artist who works primarily with a very unique set of materials–pure pigments and epoxy resins. This medium allows Reich to create paintings that are at once abstract, yet resemblant of the natural world. “My resin room is kind of like my laboratory—all of my paintings are resin mixed with high pigments which results in a lot of little chemical reactions and mixtures. I’m using a material from England that has qualities that other resin’s do not have which allows me to do interesting tricks with it,” attests Reich Although Reich has always been engaged in art —her mother was an artist and Reich attended the renowned Bezazel Academy of Art and Design as an adolescent in Jerusalem—her introduction to resin was a happy accident. “My husband was an orthodontist and knew a lot about different epoxies and resins. When I first used them something just clicked,” says Reich.

While Reich has been working with resin both as a painter and a sculptor for the past 25 years, her show this fall at Art Ovation represents a new step for her: the switch to purely abstract designs as opposed to the multi-layered resin paintings she was known for. Whereas in her previous work, which involved meticulously curating layers of flowers and lines—a process which could take up to three months—her large-scale abstract paintings must be completed in a manner of hours due to how quickly the resin cures or dries. In these moments, Reich draws upon her career in the fashion industry, one in which she learned how to make quick decisions in choosing complementary colors. “Six months of the year I was on the road—working with colors and fabrics and making fast decisions. It carries over to my work with resin, you don’t have days and days to make a decision.” Even still, there’s a calculated method to the madness. Due to the large scale of her paintings, Reich may spend an entire day preparing the canvas and sorting out the technical details of which colors to use and when to use them. After that, all that’s left to do is trust her instincts and dive in. “I know what I want to achieve but I compromise a lot during the painting process because the resin has a mind of its own. It becomes a 50-50 mix between what I want and what the resin wants. Letting go is still a very new and somewhat frightening thing for me,” confesses Reich.