Before It Disappears: Haley Prestifilippo, Momentum OKC 2016 Spotlight Artist

December 3, 2015

Momentum | , ,

As a part of Momentum OKC, three artists will receive $2,000 Momentum Spotlight commissions to create new artwork with feedback from guest curators. Selected Momentum Spotlight artists are Klair Larason of Oklahoma City, Haley Prestifilippo of Norman, and Gloria Shows of Oklahoma City.

Haley Prestifilippo creates detailed graphite drawings of animals that attempt to reconcile the space between growth and deterioration. Prestifilippo received one of three Spotlight awards for Momentum OKC for her project Before it Disappears, which will debut at Momentum OKC, March 4 &5.

“Conceptually, my work has always attempted to create an ambiguous narrative touching on aspects of relationships, creation and decay, and the feeling of anxiety we often have as a result of these things,” says Prestifilippo.

In her previous work, Prestifilippo has created complicated drawings with specific guidelines, limiting them to a small size. For her spotlight project, Prestifilippo will create a series of four to five large scale experimental drawings using new techniques, different substrates, and a looser style.

Haley_Prestifilippo-prestifilippo02 (1)

Haley Prestifilippo, “We Have Waited,” Graphite on Paper, 30″x22”, 2014


Her black and white images of animals and textures simultaneously collapse and expand. With miniscule details, it is difficult to discern where one animal ends and the other begins.

“In this way, they strive to evoke a sense of beauty upon first glance,” says Prestifilippo, “However, upon closer examination the drawings are revealed to contain images of entrapment, death and grotesquery, exposing an underlying sense of darkness.”

In Before It Disappears Prestifilippo will examine a “sense of impotence,” she says. “We often hear about the terrible things that have happened to normal people, and freeze in blank awe at our own inability to do anything real about it.”

This series hopes to evoke this response, and explore the various emotional reactions it can create.


Haley Prestifilippo, “The Right Time,” Graphite on Paper, 20” x16″, 2013

At the exhibition openings March 4 & 5, visitors will be able to see Prestifilippo’s drawings and experience her exploration of transience.

“The two disparate concepts [of growth and decay] are inextricably enmeshed through the endless continuum of life and death,” says Prestifilippo. “I attempt to capture this oscillation between the beautiful and the repulsive, allowing the viewer to inhabit and contemplate this moment of transition on their own.”

Momentum OKC features visual art by young Oklahomans, March 4 & 5. Oklahoma artists 30 and younger are invited to submit works to Momentum OKC’s survey exhibition, deadline January 25 by 5pm. Learn more at