Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Four Woman Show at La Luz de Jesus

La Luz de Jesus June Opening
When I first moved to Los Angeles one of the first places introduced to me by new friends was La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Feliz. On entering the place was a toroidal weird wonderland of kitsch – high ceilings housing an extensive collection of books on every pop artist I’d ever had a crush on, plastic toys for the bored and intellectually intrigued, keychains adorned with Sasquatches and tiny tarot decks and squishy goo that farts when you squeeze it. Passing through the Soap Plant retail portion of the space set the perfect stage for artists showing in the rear gallery spaces. I’ve since learned that so many artists who have crossed my path over the years have at some point shown in these rooms. No wonder the vibration of this place is so strong. It certainly is “The birthplace of pop surrealism”.
Opening tonight is a show of four female artists – paired together not for their gender but having been selected from the gallery’s annual coaster show as their work is complimentary to one another both philosophically and visually. Themes of nature, mysticism, mythology and surrealism are apparent between these four women. Here’s a brief rundown of what they’re about:

Caitlin McCormack Lostwithall

Lostwithall is a place inhabited by the remains of familiar, yet foreign, beasts; a tenebrous forest permeated by notions of faded nostalgia and unaccountable loss, where memory’s authenticity is overtaken by the incessant buckling of time. Creatures gnarled by the woods’ amnesia wither and decay, their skeletal forms disintegrating into delicate fibers, which tenaciously venture to reform themselves as impressions of commonplace objects. The works in this series are attempts to bind the loose ends of obscure recollections, which have nearly dissolved in the wake of memory’s transmutation. Each piece embodies the remaining husk of a single experience, like a piece of string tied around one’s finger for remembrance – a symbol of identity, worn as one is engulfed by the forest’s aphotic oblivion.

Caitlin McCormack – Et Erit. Crocheted cotton string, glue, steel pins, velvet.

Caitlin McCormack – Et Erit.
Crocheted cotton string, glue, steel pins, velvet.

Katherine Brannock CHRYSOPOEIA

Cyclical patterns in nature maintain a captivating allure for the artist Katherine Brannock. Everything from water bodies aligning with the lunar cycle, to seasons predictably sculpting our environmental landscape, has captured her unwavering fascination and curiosity. However, this innate attraction to quantifiable changes in the physical world, finds an amusing digression when aligned with Katherine’s transcendent, philosophical roots stemming from childhood.

In an effort to validate the physical feelings rooted in our cycles of emotional evolution, Katherine has elected to explore the concept of Chrysopoeia in order to metaphorically articulate her observance of this, oftentimes, neglected inner experience.

Chrysopoeia was originally an Alchemical process defined as the act of transmuting a base metal into gold; but according to a more philosophical approach, Chrysopoeia could be denoted as the act of transforming the base qualities of our psychological nature into more enlightened functions. By adopting this Alchemical credo, Katherine intends to explore the birth and death of the Ego as one might examine the rise and fall of the tide.

Born and raised San Diego, California, Katherine attended Catholic School from Kindergarten on up to her graduating year of High School. This dogmatic, parish setting imbedded the language of old world religion within her psyche, while sparking an attraction to alternative forms of spiritual mysticism. The further Katherine explored the conceptual depths of otherworldly reality, the stronger her obsession grew to comprehend the degree to which these seemingly intangible influences shaped our psychological perceptions of the Ego.

Katherine Brannock – Foundling. Acrylic, Oil Paint and Bronze Ink In a Stained, Varnished Pine Wood Frame

Katherine Brannock – Foundling.
Acrylic, Oil Paint and Bronze Ink In a Stained, Varnished Pine Wood Frame

 

Gea* Penetralia

gea* sometimes focuses on disturbing and explicit subject matter, while she can juxtapose sweetness and repulsion, sometimes wrapped in a dream like surrealism as she illustrates and explores the nether regions of our collective psyche. She is equally adept in expressing herself with an assured line in ink and exercising shocking and vibrant approaches to color theory, both in drawing and in digital media.

Her works have been published in limited edition art books by international publishers such as Timeless, Le Dernier Cri and Re:Surgo!; one of the Re:Surgo titles she in which she is featured is now part of the NY Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. She has directed music videos for Momus and Jeffrey Butzer, which have been viewed widely and received acclaim from the late great movie critic Roger Ebert and film director Guy Maddin.

gea* is a Chilean-born multidisciplinary artist based in New York. Her unique work encompasses drawing, painting, illustration, digital arts and media, photography, film and animation. An autodidact, she has exhibited solo and in group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Santiago, Zurich, and Toronto.

 

gea* – picnic in eden. Color pencil on paper

gea* – picnic in eden.
Color pencil on paper

 

Genie Mélisande Catalyst

Catalyst is an exploration of evolution in both humanity and on an individual scale. This theme continues in the vein of the Tree of Life mythology that is  fundamental to cultures worldwide, and maps the evolution of cosmic energy to solid matter and the ascension of living beings to a higher plane of consciousness. In harmonizing scientific theories with the spiritual realm, this archetypal journey leads us to a crossroads and urgent questions about our next phase. The new frontier that Terry Pratchett called “the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape”.

Genie Mélisande is a contemporary magic realist painter who was born in Manhattan, studied fine art in England, and is now based in Los Angeles. Throughout a nomadic upbringing that spanned over 20 countries and many different cultures, the one enduring thread has been a need to reach the heart of the human condition through art. She aims to reconcile both visible and metaphysical archetypes in ways that are new yet true, and beautiful yet challenging.

 

Genie Melisande – Neophyte. Oil, goldleaf on wood panel

Genie Melisande – Neophyte.
Oil, goldleaf on wood panel

Caitlin McCormack, Katherine Brannock, gea*, and Genie Mélisande
June 3 – 26, 2016
Artist reception: Friday, June 3rd; 8-11PM
La Luz de Jesus Gallery

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