Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Miriam Wosk – Visual Glutton

Thanks to my good friend, Karen Pearle, I am pleased to present the work of Miriam Wosk in this entry. Miriam is an artist from Santa Monica whose large-scale collages, mixed media paintings and tapestries are works that I identify with very strongly. I feel a genuine connection with this work and thank Miriam for consenting to be featured here.

(Please click images to enlarge)

The Golden Serpent

Wosk's work explores the surreal and ornamental aspects of Natural History and goes beyond that into what feels to this writer to be a spiritual truism. Before you read further, I would like you to watch an excellent 14-minute film by Terry Sanders that takes a look at Miriam working in her studio. “Language of the Soul: The Work of Miriam Wosk” was filmed over a two year span and is an excellent general overview of the artist and her work. Please click here , and then click on the upper right hand film icon.

Miriam’s work has a distinct push-pull quality, a feminine identity, yet equally as masculine.


In her paintings, she embeds sequins, beads, crystals and organic matter into the paint to create healing images, images that are of the earth, yet unidentifiable and other-worldly They are rooted in botanical or ancient anatomical imagery. Flesh and bone. Flowers and root.

Grotto (detail)

Her work denotes an inventive approach, yet is at once, restrained and festive. When I look at them, I recognize the familiar lurking in an unfamiliar setting.

The artist states:

Here is a list of some of the things I think about in relation to my work:

• Mandala-like constructions depicting the interconnectedness of nature.

• Transcendence of spirit into matter, energy into image, desire into drawing.

• Complexity of the human body; internal organs, bones, veins….the stuff we are made

• Decoration, design, architecture, and especially beauty.

• Symbols, dreams, metaphors, and the mysteries of my inner life, and human

• Vines, branches, flowers, fruits, underwater creatures and plants, shells, insects
and animals.

• Diagrams, doodles, patterns and drawings, (and the process involved).

• Color, exoticism, eroticism, passion, sparkle and light.

• Science, fractals, cosmology, molecular and cellular patterns found in nature.

• Tension of Opposites; rational–intuitive, feminine–masculine, symmetry–chaos, old–new, control–surrender, universal–personal, death–life, fluidity–structure, light–dark, yin–yang, union–dissolution, nature–artifice, transparency–solidity, harmony–conflict, microcosm–macrocosm, beauty–decay.

Big Red tapestry

Her 92” x 65.5” “Big Red” jacquard tapestry is infused with metallic threads and adorned with hand-applied Swarovski crystals to depict a giant lobster lolling in a teaming sea of red.

Golden Mandela

The Ineffable Night Journey

Miriam’s work is found in public and private collections across the United States and Europe. She has exhibited in many museums and galleries and is the subject of numerous essays and books. She is recipient the following awards:

Mademoiselle Magazine, Guest Editor 1968
American Institute of Graphic Artists
"The Mental Picture 4", Certificate of Excellence
The Art Directors Club New York
"The One Show,” Merit Award
Society of Illustrators
17th Annual National Exhibition, Certificate of Merit

“My body of work expresses the yin/yang quality of life; the paradoxes and contradictions inherent in experience, the mystery of the shadow side of life, and the tension that the opposite forces create. My art inhabits an instinctual and soulful feminine world that emerges directly from a personal vision.” – Miriam Wosk

Third Eye and Crown Chakra

Please read more about the artist and her work on her web site.

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Stacy Alexander