Article in Venus ZineVenus Zine
Published on 3/19/2008
Article by Megan Martin on the Lost Constellations exhibition.
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The artist draws from Einstein and rock 'n' roll in her show, Lost Constellations.
By Megan Martin
Published: March 19th, 2008 | 1:31pm
Somewhere in between the innocence of girlhood and the bittersweet reality of womanhood is where Tara McPherson’s art dwells. In her latest exhibit, Lost Constellations, at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City, McPherson mashes unique artistic mediums into a three-world wonderland. Metal, music, makeup, love and loss and a battle of the elements – that’s what a woman is made of.
Throughout the rooms of the Chelsea gallery, the West Coast-born and New York-based artist displays three variations of her work in black and white sketches, oil paintings and fiberglass sculptures allowing viewers to walk through the process of her creativity.
“This is going to be a pivotal show for her,” Jonathan LeVine said recently of McPherson’s exhibit at his Chelsea gallery, “It’s about her life. She’s dealing with the typical stuff, besides her career, of being single, being of a certain age, going through boyfriends, being into rock music. A lot of that stuff comes out with her work.”
McPherson’s illustrations and paintings have crossed over into the music scene, creating posters for bands such as The Strokes, Interpol, Beck and Built to Spill. They have donned the walls of many a venue, including the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles.
“I asked some local venues in California if they needed posters, and I’d go down the list of upcoming shows and pick bands that interested me,” she recalls of starting her career as a rock poster artist.
For Lost Constellations, the gallery dedicated three separate spaces/rooms/hallways to McPherson’s pieces. In the main room are thirteen of her series paintings, “Weight of Water,” “Somewhere Under the Rainbow” – a series that portrays uniformed school girls decked in KISS-style black makeup, and “The Fractioned Second,” five paintings of a Betty Boop style woman from five different angles that is based on Einstein’s cross-gravitational lens theory, incorporating her passion for the sciences.
One particular series, “Weight of Water” shows one of her super-heroines taking on the transitional properties of water particles: gas, liquid and solid. The woman portrayed in the paintings is exposed to various environments from an electrical storm to a snowy trench. Her work strongly encompasses the relationship between environment and individual, tying in her background as once aspiring astronomer, which she studied briefly at Santa Monica Community College.
Her artwork plays with the idea of models and photography, how to resemble real life as closely as possible without taking away the fantasy of it.
“I want [my work] to be subtly unnerving,” she once said of her art, “Even if it’s cute and innocent and sweet, I want it to be just a little unsettling.”
Lost Constellations is on exhibit at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery until March 22, 2008.