Posts Tagged ‘Surrealist

13
Oct
19

Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman’s “Heavy Water” at La Luz de Jesus

Image courtesy of Deirdre Sullivan-Berman

Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman’s “Heavy Water” recently opened last week at La Luz de Jesus. The exhibition will be open to the public through October 27th with a special artist’s talk and walkthrough with Genie Davis who will be moderating on Sunday, October 20, 2-4 PM. 

Sullivan-Beeman creates beautiful, dramatic and dream-like art that births visuals of young women who drift between innocence and their awaking. As a self-taught contemporary surrealist painter she has chosen the medium of egg tempera, a medium popular in the 14th century, to paint he subjects in lavish romantic settings of metaphorical dreamscapes with a mix of representational art and feminine surrealism of fantasy or whimsy she likes to call “Magical Realism.” Her painting is steeped in message but buried in haunting and mythical beauty that proves luminous and enchanting, speaking their secrets to the viewer’s eyes. 

Sullivan-Beeman puts it this way in her artist statement: “The characters in my paintings—and their animal sidekicks, spiritual daemons—swim among my dreams. Lucid reveries hatch their personas from factors of myself and my sphere. I awaken from these dreams, valueless without a critical mass, and dive headfirst into the soup of the collective unconscious. There, in the most ancient realm of the mind, I inherit stories. Like water, I draw my girls up from the deepest well.” and in another quote, Sullivan-Beeman says: “In these works, my girls choose to use this level of immense power for creation rather than destruction.

“Heavy Water” refers to the idea of a familiar substance like H2O being transformed into D2O, a lethal and dangerous substance that looks like water but holds lethal and undetected power. Heavy Water is essential in the process to create nuclear bombs the most powerful weapons on earth. Sullivan-Berman’s dialectic harness these “girls” made from her vivid imagination as powerful symbols of transformation and feminine power.

There will be one collaborative work “Heavy Water” exhibit with multi-media artist Gina M. Sullivan-Beeman says, I wanted to play with scale, and have someone be able to walk into one of my paintings. I really want the viewer to experience the whole show and ‘swim’ through the art. These girls are me and I want the viewer to get better acquainted with my world.”  The installation will be a six-foot seahorse sculpture set inside the La Luz de Jesus Gallery for all to explore and enjoy. This exhibition brings the luminous and enchanting world of Sullivan-Beeman’s surrealist paintings into view that is birthed out of infinite consciousness and collective thought of Sullivan-Beeman’s “Magical Realism.” Viewing hours vary at La Luz de Jesus. M-Th are 11 AM-7 PM, Fri-Sat are 11 AM-9 PM and Sunday is Noon-6 PM.

09
Mar
19

Movie Review: “Meow Wolf: Origin Story”

Meow Wold: Origin Story

Meow Wold: Origin Story

Meow Wolf art collective got my attention a number of years ago because of a friend, Liberty Yablon, who was part of that community. Then when another friend, Cherry Shore, enthusiastically reported her experience when she discovered the “Maximalist” installation of “House of Eternal Return”. Cherry posted a lot of photos from inside House of Eternal Return and really caught my attention then. After this happened anything to do with Meow Wolf got my immediate attention. Surprisingly, when I was shooting the WGA Awards red carpet George R.R.Martin and I had a conversation about it. Based on our conversation George was very enthusiastic about the prospects of Meow Wolf’s artistic concept. Since then I knew that a documentary was in the works and it so happened I saw a post about a LACMA screening and I knew I had to join in. Here’s my take on it.

Meow Wolf: Origin Story is the back story to the creation of Meow Wolf. Less succinctly it’s a documentary on a group of a young energetic creatively driven artists, who grouped together to create an art collective in Santa Fe New Mexico, resisting social norms and conventions, while originating their own ethos by rejecting corporatist hierarchy and embracing radical enclusion. The ideas and ethos that established and fuel Meow Wolf are the things that have sustained the collective from the beginning and are fleshed out in Meow Wolf: Origin Story. The doc chronicles Meow Wolf’s inception and growth with a bunch of brave young souls rejecting the commercial art world, pooling their money and embarking on an unspecified intrepid artistic dream to create. They practiced radical democracy in their decision-making and DIY collaborative artwork that generated an immersive storytelling experience meant to challenge and engage with radical ideas. The word psychedelic was freely used in the narrative of Meow Wolf’s clever and inventive mind-expanding movie offering new possibilities of thinking using alternative concepts of juxtaposed realities or multiverse continuums to bend the mind. Meow Wolf’s approach is like a whimsical child tying it all together with a thread of quantum theory bursts of consciousness and the spectacle of the Vedas generating their Surrealist and Maximalist vision for all to see.

Meow Wolf fosters a lot of heady ideas, but as much as it is an artistic statement about creativity, it also portrays the story of human the experience with experimentation in acceptance, community, and relationships. The documentary shares real-time captures the dynamics of creativity, in interpersonal relationships and their struggles as the collective grew and morphed socially and creatively.  One of the most compelling stories within the doc revolves around David Loughridge friendship with Vince Kadlubeck and his contribution to the group. David Loughridge was key to the group’s dynamics. He helped put together one of Meow Wolf’s ambitious installations, The Due Return (Interdimensional Ship). The Due Return was the most significant project for the group at the time. The installation was a 70-foot long two-story ship filled with rooms, dressed with objects and memorabilia, that created a sense of nostalgic occupancy and futuristic travel. It was a great success and David was instrumental to that success. After The Due Return exhibition closed David was diagnosed as a manic-depressive. David eventually sought electroshock therapy to help with his mental disability. Many in the group, including both Sean Di Ianni and Vince Kadlubeck felt it was doing him some good, and then it wasn’t. It is a heart-wrenching moment in the film when for those closest to David, and also for those in collective, were confronted by the harshness of mortality with the loss of one of their own.

After this tragedy, the doc moves on to its last heroic theme. It embodies Meow Wolf’s greatest struggle and accomplishment by mobilizing the collective most ambitious project that changed everything the now legendary installation House of Eternal Return. House of Eternal Return was funded in large part by George R. R. Martin, who believed in their vision, among other investors. George was moved by their SIFI Fantasy laced pitch and he bought them a bowling alley they needed to embark on their epic journey began. House of Eternal Return was constructed by over 140 artists at a record pace. The construction of the installation was a race in financial brinksmanship. It’s a story of staggering and achievement under the meanest of circumstances but they pulled it off! The doc is an amazing achievement in its own right! The majority of the film is composed of old random video clips from a host of donors. These clips were assembled from dozens of sources after a decade of an art collective randomness that could lay waste to the best intentions to any archived footage. The video footage is in excellent condition and makes the movie very easy to watch. There’s a lot of depth and heart to Meow Wolf: Origin Story, with some eye-opening cultural moments that portends to a dramatic shift in culture and a different approach to society in general. As the”Meow Wolf About Page” puts it and says very succinctly “Meow Wolf comes out of a dumpster-diving, DIY past, and we want to help emerging artists and art communities around the world.” Meow Wolf has an eye on art and a vision for a new social order we all should consider.

Meow Wolf: Origin Story is available on VOD here.

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