Galerie Anaïs, Bergamot Station
Exhibition Directors: Anna Meliksetian and Shomais Ghassemi
Santa Monica, CA
May 22-June 3, 2010
“In The Electrics, contours become febrile, colors breathe and roil, the palette is at once hot and icy, and the subject matter seems infused with a deist charge, a sense that everything is infused with an ineffable force.”
–Peter Frank, art critic
The Electrics are a fusion of my experiences in the golden days of Hippie-Dome and Psychedelia, the magical, hallucinatory quality of indigenous Native American and Mexican ceremonial tradition, and decades spent at the computer manipulating digital imagery. The Electrics began as “portraits” of the California Canyon and Valley Oak which surround my home in Topanga Canyon.
For twelve years prior, I had been painting California landscapes in the tradition of fantastic realism. The transition came about when I tried to capture the glow of an oak bathed in the light of a full moon. The painted field became dissected by multiple organic shapes and marks painted in contrary and contrasting colors. Today, I have completed several electric oaks, landscapes, and portraits inspired by this first effort where color began to move and vibrate across the canvas.
In thinking through the artistic process I believe that The Electrics are influenced by Andy Warhol’s psychedelic pop icon, the splotchy “pixels” of Chuck Close’s portraits, the cosmic 60’s pallet and minimal line of Peter Max, and Klimt’s emphatic patterning, combined with the visual repetition and coloration of Huichol yarn painting and indigenous ceremonial bead work. In revisiting these artists and their work I am reminded of how the artistic mind “gathers” information and experiences, sometimes over a very long period of time, to reaffirm these influences in the creation of new work.
The Electrics by Betty Brown
Electric Ladyland: Linda Vallejo’s Digital Vision by Peter Frank
The Electrics by Gloria F. Orenstein
The Electrics speech by Gloria F. Orenstein
Art Scene Magazine review by Nancy K. Turner