Studio Visit: Marci Washington’s Paintings Tell Gothic-Romantic Tales

As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Marci Washington. See the full studio visit and interview with Marci and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.

We visited Marci in her backyard studio in Berkeley. It sits just behind her home, a kind of garage/storage space that got converted into a cottage. It’s comfortable and functional, with an open feel to it. Marci is full of gusto— she talks with her hands, takes on all kinds of facial expressions, and she’s funny as hell. She enthusiastically moved through our conversations, at turns awkward and eloquent, but always unguarded and real. We talked about a lot of things, but her affinity for the landscape of the English moorlands, particularly within the context of Romantic Literature, really struck me. Those rolling, uncultivated hills covered in low-growing grass, shrouded under heavy fog and moody skies have wholly captured Marci’s imagination. And it makes sense that they have— much of what interests Marci is mirrored in that rugged, desolate scenery. In various Romantic and Gothic works of literature, the moorlands often represent mystery, mysticism, liberation, turmoil, and passion; they frequently echo the psychological state of the characters, and reveal their greatest desires and fears. Marci’s current work references not just the physical landscape of the moors, but also speaks to themes found in a lot of this kind of literature, and the universal emotions that are evoked—all those feelings and ideas that run wild with mystery, awe, darkness, terror and beauty. I think Marci is after a particular kind of mood that toes the line between terrifying and thrilling, creating a response that’s simultaneously overwhelming and invigorating. All of this plays into her sensibilities as an artist, but also as a person: her love of Edward Gorey and his eerie illustrated books, her unflinching need to feel everything very deeply, her leanings towards the bizarre and unique, and her fondness for the not-entirely-explained. It’s pretty damn amazing that come November Marci will be showing work in England, not far from the wild and lonely moors that have taken up so much of her imagination.

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Kirra Jamison’s Vibrant Paintings

 

Kirra Jamison has a new site and a new series. This Australian artist creates works in series that are visually striking and unexpected. Her series of gouache drawings on paper are reminiscent of intricate Chinese paper cuts to a monumental scale. She is an artist to watch, continually moving forward and diversifying her body of work through new mediums and new series, each even more intriguing than the last. Her past works explore themes of mystical narrative, isolated places, and decorative patterns. 

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David Mendez Alonso’s Parts of a Whole

David Mendez Alonso is a Spanish born artist whose work is out of this world. He separates his elements around the page letting each vignette breathe and forming what I think is a quite explosive finished work. His pieces have a beautiful dialogue.

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