Monday, March 26, 2018

A Good Obsession -Groovin' In Your Own Sphere: Lisa Mahar Style

This post has taken me a ridiculously long time to bring to fruition.  I'm talking years...

A while back I attended the closing reception for one of my good art friends, Lisa Mahar, at the Bucktown Gallery.  I haven't seen a lot of Lisa recently, and upon seeing her work, I know why.  She has been hunkered down in her studio meticulously busting out some awesome work.

Lisa has been making work like this for as long as I have known her (well over a decade now), but with her latest work, Lisa has really matured in her usage of color, pattern, movement, and playing areas of tension off of areas of release/relaxation, -or as George Rose used to say in class, "areas of tense 'inhalation' vs. 'exhalation'".

Check this out.

It's almost two different pieces based on whether you are up close looking at it, or viewing it further away.

I love the attention she gives to her details, patterns, and line work.

Seriously, check this out.

Her faces have just enough visual information to convey emotion, but they're not overworked.

Her asymmetrical compositions have a wonderful vitality to them.  She plays her cool tones and warm tones off of each other in subtle ways.  That interaction/interplay creates complex areas of push/pull tension.

Piece after piece she delivers the goods.

Lisa also takes her dense and colorful patterns and imagery into 3-Dimensional projects.

And her mixed media books.

Even more recently, Lisa was part of a 3-person show called Goddess Tales at MidCoast Gallery West here are a few images from that exhibition.

Love that line work.

Lisa also had a small army of mixed media figures called Tin Nation.  Now when I say 'small army', envision around 50 of these small figures in large group on the wall.  Each one had its own personality and a story behind it.

I normally type lines containing a few characters of random text to serve as place holders for a sentence/idea when I make my first rough draft of a blog post.  I could type a whole bunch of stuff describing this picture of Lisa helping out at Quad City Arts when I was installing my show In/ConFLUENCE back in December.  However, I think 'asdfdasfdasfutyuty' speaks for itself...

A piece from Lisa's Goddess Tales show that bears a little further scrutiny is Man In The Moon.

Let's just take it off the wall and get a better look at it.

One of the things about this piece (and other pieces of Lisa's) I especially like is the Barbara Krueger-esque usage of text/type/words.  Looking at the image below, you could easily read it as 'Man In The Moon'.  However, since the words are not placed in one long row, other readings of it are also possible.  A different reading of it could also be 'Moon Man In The Stars' since down in the bottom right corner are two stars (a sparkly star and a button that says 'all star').  Constructing images so they can actively carry multiple readings is really some next level stuff.

Man In The Moon has now joined my other studio guardians.

As an added bonus, since I like this dude so much, I drew a quick sketch of him and have included him as part of the base layer of imagery in Countdown.

Lisa's work is full of energy, color, text, texture, and insight.  Some might even describe it as being super-duper-ruper.  You can check out her Facebook page by clicking this link:

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