Monday, March 3, 2008

Star Fishing

I've just returned from a beautiful and romantic vacation in Southern California that was full of art and nature and hope and happiness. It was good to get away and back into nature for awhile to rest, recharge and be inspired for art making in the months to come.

Before I go any further, I want to share a little video that I made this past Saturday of wildlife along the La Jolla coastline. The natural textures that one finds in nature can serve to inspire backgrounds and patterns for a plethora of mixed media work. Note the incredible art patterns on the backs of the seal pups and the different shapes and textures of the rocks. Look at the contrasting colors inherent in the barnacles and muscles that are scattered about on the rocks. Note the subtle hues in the squirrel's fur and in the sand piper's feathers.

While in La Jolla, we paid a visit to the stunning La Jolla Museum of Contemporary art that overlooks the Pacific Coast.
View from the rear of the museum

An Andy Goldsworthy egg greeted us as we entered the property...(I'm a follower and fan of Goldsworthy from way back...)
Andy Goldsworthy

...and a Nikki de St. Phalle Ganesh statue bid us good bye from the rear garden.

A real treat was Erwin Redl's, "MATRIX II". This was the premiere exhibition of the artist’s theatrical scale light-emitting diode artwork what has received so much fanfare of late. The exhibit consisted of a room-size work that offered viewers a space that seemed to recede in all directions, as if the walls were mirrored. Floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall, the room is filled with grids of phosphor green LEDs in an otherwise dark environment. The effect was a web of light that totally immersed viewers. I was fortunate enough to be the only person in the room walking through it when I did. I think the experience wouldn't have been as great as it was if others had also been walking through the space. Doing so felt so other-worldly...ethereal and peaceful.

One part of the exhibit that blew my mind was called, Soundwaves: The Art of Sampling". The exhibit looks at a specifically late 20th-century manifestation of the conjunction of art and sound, and featured artists such as Tim Bavington, Celeste Boursier-Mougenot, Sean Duffy, Julio Cesar Morales, Dario Robleto, and Steve Roden, who appropriate the musical process of sampling in their work, either through the incorporation of found sound or through visual and material references. Boursier-Mougenot laid out three big blue wading pools that had pumps connected to them that caused the water to have motion. She then positioned various shapes and sizes of dishes in the water that clanged and tinged and chimed as they moved about bumping into one another. It was brilliant, I tell you! An entire room of musical dishes. I loved it.
Celeste Boursier-Mougenot

I couldn't find a picture to show you of another favorite piece in this particular exhibit, but I can describe it. The artist assigned speficic colors to individual musical notes, then air brushed them in narrow stripes across rectangular boards. He painted Rolling Stones songs and Mozart and other artists and the results were awe inspiring, to say the least. If I could have, I would have bought them all up on the spot!

Please click on this link to visit The Soundwaves Exibition for more information.

Out back overlooking the garden, Los Angeles-based sculptor Nancy Rubins' sculpture on the west side of the building. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Pleasure Point is an accumulation of rowboats, canoes, jet skis, and surfboards that shoot out in every direction. Attached to the roof of the Museum and cantilevered above the heads of viewers, Rubins' gravity-defying sculpture is held together under tension through welds and wire.

Pleasure Point

In the studio here...all of this inspiration from Southern California...the art, being out in nature, the incredible coastline...lead me toward creating a new series of digital photographs that honor that environment and the time I spent there. Here are three pieces from this new collection that I will be using in my mixed media work:


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freebird said...

It's been over 10 years since I've been to La Jolla. I used to go with my dad when my kids had a day off of school. Parking was always hard to get but the beaches and rocky areas were so wonderful. I sure miss the San Diego area.

Stacy Alexander said...

Everything is so concentrated there. It is difficult not to pass out from the sheer beauty alone!

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