Chasing the Current
May 23rd – June 13th (2015)
Concurrently on view in the Thinkspace project room are new works by Ariel DeAndrea in Chasing the Current. Working primarily in oils on linen, DeAndrea’s paintings are beautifully serene expanses of water, gently travelled by delicate paper birds. By focusing on the recurring symbol of the origami paper crane, a talismanic object she reiterates in several aquatic contexts, the artist emphasizes the power and beauty of its unassuming simplicity. In a precisely realistic and understated style, DeAndrea renders the paper birds in a variety of patterns and colors, and stages them in open fields of rippling water. DeAndrea creates a stunning repertoire of images by exploring the subtle movement and variety in these repetitions. Not unlike hazy dreamscapes, her works feel intensely personal and heavy with meaning, conveying a feeling of arrested calm that borders on the uncanny at times. We are left with the feeling of having witnessed something simultaneously quiet and intensely poignant.
These inanimate objects become vessels for meaning that far exceeds their tangible significance. Vulnerable and beautiful, something ephemeral haunts the impermanence of the fragile paper bird. Finding resilience and beauty in small, humble things is a concept DeAndrea derives from her interest in the Japanese spiritual tradition of Shinto; a tradition that upholds the spiritual value of nature. By placing the little paper likenesses back into a depiction of the natural world, DeAndrea offers a powerful visual metaphor for a spiritual communion with nature.
by Marieke Treilhard
Solo(s) Project House and R. Jampol Gallery
Summer Residency (2014)
Ariel DeAndrea will explore the movement and life in the design and symbolism of an otherwise lifeless object: the origami.
She will present a new series of oil paintings featuring origami cranes in natural settings: bodies of water from around the world. In these paintings, the paper bird comes to life in its animated travels on the surface of the water, riding along the current or the wave, drawing focus on the life and beauty of a single crane, allowing the origami crane to become much more than a folded piece of paper.
The cranes’ communion with nature in these pieces speaks to both Japanese cultural practice, spirituality in Shinto and the unique reinterpretation of the artist to reflect her personal spirituality.
Dreams Of Flight (2013)
Thinkspace Gallery (Los Angeles) -is pleased to present new works by Ariel DeAndrea in Dreams Of Flight. An accomplished painter and installation artist, DeAndrea’s works are expressive dreamscapes developed through a personal iconography. Her paintings combine technical elements of hyperrealism with a surrealistic stylization that is distinctly her own. Looking to the crane as a symbol of hope and salvation, the artist creates hyper real paintings of these delicate origami birds. The imagery is at once intensely poetic and strategically understated. Often staged in atmospherically shifting water, the paper talismans are refracted through light and subtle reflection. A shimmering blur of organic patterns and prismatic shifts, the serene paintings are quietly exquisite in their detail and execution. The sense of meditative calm conveyed by the work, contributes to its measured and deliberate impression of the surreal. The images are hauntingly poignant as a result; like silent suspended excerpts from a revelatory dream.
As a recurring symbol for the artist, the crane is frequently shown with figurative subjects or self-portraits, and is staged alongside the crocodile as its repeated symbolic counterpart for fear and atrophy. Drawing from the proverbial divisions of good and bad, and light and dark binaries essential to the symbolic function of fable the artist uses her work to polarize experiences of hope and fearfulness, salvation and damnation, bringing deeply emotive subject matter to life. Intensely personal, the works are like psychological portraits of human conflict. Looking to the uncomfortable proximity of hope and phobia, and our constant negotiation of their coexistence, DeAndrea’s works are powerfully simple and stirring. Like the indelible visuals left by dreams, the imagery in her work is intimate, surreal, and beautifully vulnerable.
by Marieke Treilhard