Gordon & Maureen Morris – Anomalies

If while walking into the gallery you feel as if you have been sucked into a vortex in the space time continuum, then congratulations, you have stumbled across the most entertaining and creative show of the year, Anomalies, by Gordon and Maureen Morris.

Maureen and Gordon Morris met in college where they both graduated from the Ontario College of Art in Toronto.  Gordon started out on a career in graphic design back when the work was all done by airbrush but he soon found himself on the cusp of the early use of computers to produce these images.   He was able to adapt his style to the computer and soon became adept at using a tablet and monitor to draw and paint images.  Because of Gordon’s ability to lead the curve of the new technology he was offered jobs in exotic locations and so he and Maureen lived in Hong Kong, China, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles where each of their creativity was guided by their experiences and surroundings.  Maureen’s love of ceramics has also taken her to Lill Street Studios in Chicago, Santa Monica College in Los Angeles and other studios along the way.  Studios are shared work spaces where ideas and techniques are exchanged between the various artists.  It was an opportunity for Maureen to learn and to teach and to truly grow professionally.

Gordon’s trip back to fine art came to real fruition after their move to Mexico once he was able to apply his creative talents towards his own, non-commercial creations.  Gordon uses Photoshop to plan out the paintings and develop the characters and subject of his work. If a new idea develops he can then scan the painting into the computer and try out the idea before committing it to the canvas which he does by hand.  Maureen also began exploring her medium to the maximum in Mexico creating geometric and organic ceramic forms (cacti, insects, hearts & functional art) influenced by her environment while incorporating the traditional firing methods in gas and electric kilns as well as pit firing, raku and naked raku techniques.

Gordon’s work is highly detailed and usually bizarre in subject. He uses sculptural elements, usually on highly complicated frames, which help to develop further the ideas in the main image.  There is usually some kind of story being told by an interesting nearly literary character.  A highly colloquial adjective that can describe the work is simply “cool”.  A sense of playful fun exudes from the work.  It is interesting how this same playfulness is also exuded by Maureen’s work.  The ceramic medium because of its more rigorous production demands lends itself to more austere expressions, yet Maureen’s work shares Gordon’s language of the light-hearted and the non-conformist.  It only takes a visit to their home and studio to understand some of the influences that help to form their current common language: vintage toys, robots, and other playful paraphernalia found from their travels around the world – items that contest to their status of children at heart and true admirers of both high and low art.

Come be transported to another world and meet the artists this Saturday, August 4 from 6 to 9 PM at POLYGLOT Gallery.   Exhibition will be on display through August 29.  For a PDF catalog of the show please e-mail info@polyglotgallery.com.

GALLERY COLLECTIVE – SMALL WORKS

         

On exhibit for June are some of the favorite works from the past few months.  Come see gouaches by Polly Stark, cut paper by Margarita Fick, photography by Barbara Levine, paper mache sculptures by Edward Swift, ceramic sculptures by Adrian Guerrero, Maureen Gordon, Rodolfo Calva, and Rodrigo Lara, assemblage by Claude Mathey and Zoë Siegel, etching by Luis Carlos Rodriguez Ojeda and a fantastic wall relief by Angelina Perez Ibargüen.

Day of the Dead Special—Day of the Dead Festival brings life to La Aurora

Maestra Margarita Fick standing in front of the altar she dedicated to Capulina.

Día de Muertos has to be one of the most fantastic and colorful times of the year to be in Mexico and for the artist community and businesses at the Fábrica La Aurora it is a great excuse to really dress the place up and invite the community to enjoy and perhaps learn more about the timeless Mexican tradition. As per usual at the Aurora celebration, the Fábrica has chosen a non-profit to benefit and to champion their importance during the party and this year that honor goes to the ever-needed and desperately underfunded Mexican Red Cross who struggles valiantly daily to serve the growing San Miguel community. The pertinence to the celebration should be fairly obvious- if you don’t give, next year’s altar may be dedicated to you.

Every year for the festival no expense is spared in the entertainment department. Upon arrival there will be marimba in the entrance patio. Then as the marimba starts to fade out you will catch the mariachi band further in and by the end of the night, you will surely be swinging your partner to the sweet sounds of Trio Los Románticos or Trio Los Compadres, who will be rolling out the nostalgia.

It is also customary during this event for each studio and gallery to present its own unique altar dedicated to the deceased of their choosing. What is an altar you ask? Well, it is a fantastic and often elaborate offering to entice the dead to come back to be amongst the living. Be on the lookout for a beautiful multi-tiered, colorful assembled altar covered in bright colorful hand-cut tissue papers, full of the favorite food, booze and trinkets of the deceased being summoned. Make sure to visit each gallery and artist studio to see each of their personal altars.

The main altar in the entrance patio will be a very special altar staged by the master cut paper artist Margarita Fick with the help of the lovely staff of Galería/Atelier and will be dedicated to the great Mexican comedian Capulina who passed away just a few weeks ago after a successful career entertaining three generations of Mexican families. If you don’t know Capulina, look up “El Santo vs Capulina” for some real “old school” Mexican cinema. Another altar in honor of the also recently deceased surrealist artist Leonora Carrington will be located near the café and will be created by local artist James Harvey. Expect an altar as surreal as the art of the artist. The final altar will be located in Section C of the Fábrica and will be built by Mary Breneman and Jim Corcoran in honor of the long dead Mexican Master David Alfaro Siquieros.

A few special exhibits will also happen for this special occasion. Galería Alebrije is presenting a special collection of oil on canvas in celebration of the Day of the Dead, which includes paintings by Guadalajara Artist; Mario Oliva and Australian Artist, Rossmore James Campbell. Both Artists are based in SMA and will exhibit themed paintings of the Mexican Death culture from ancient Aztec goddesses to the more contemporary Catrina. Galería-Estudio Rolando García will be celebrating the closing of the exhibit for local etching artista Adolfo García. At Galería/Atelier don’t miss the assemblage show by French artist, Claude Mathey. There are wonderful stories being told there. Also they will be showing new work by papel picado and San Miguel’s favorite new artist in town, Margarita Fick.