The Goddess at The Gallery

goddess body

The Goddess, noun is a celebration of the feminine and the divine. Images explore female issues, cultural expressions, shape and pattern. This group exhibition held at The Gallery in Hawthorne opened July 4th weekend and closes this coming weekend – don’t miss your chance to take in the mystical and the magical.

Presenting artists include:

Vicki Barkley, Emily Blythe Jones, Betsy Enzensberger, Shannon Donnelly
Anita Hopkins, Stella Chang, Frankie Certain, Jackelyne May, David Lucien Matheke, Janet Solval, Teresa Flowers, Gabriela Rodas, Heather Scholl,
Olivia Barrionuevo, L Aviva Diamond, Gabriela Zapata and Anahid Boghosian,  
Chenhung Chen, Eva Perez, and Elisa Garcia.

We spoke to many of the artists at the opening event.

goddess photographer

Above, Olivia Barrionuevo.

This fine arts photographer rivets with her portraits expressing subjects’ culture and individuality. Here, and in a recent solo exhibition at the Mexican consulate, Barrionuevo says “All my work is focused on cultures and backgrounds. They go to the roots. Their background is my theme.”

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Above, the work of Vicki Barkley.

Barkley has created a series featuring actress/model April Flores. The series features nudes that incorporate an element of sadness in the model, whom Barkley has been painting for 3 years.

“The series is an allegory, it’s mythological, about life, death, fertility. I imagine her like a heroine, like a Joseph Campbell figure. She and I go through the fires of hell, and have the courage to survive, whether it’s divorce, death, bankruptcy, you survive. If your heart is heavy it will weigh more. Her heart is light, and represented by a feather,” Barkley relates.

The works are oil on linen, panel, and canvas. The model is also the subject of a series of 22 original tarot cards that the artist is currently working on.

goddess barkley

The fruit of the succoring tree, above, is represented as breasts.

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Barkley’s work here is effervescent, yet fraught.

goddess chen

Above, Chenhung Chen. Chen’s pieces in this show, Entelechy 19 and 21,
can be interpreted as conveying human qualities that go beyond traditional form. “I construct these sculptures as if they have a spine holding everything together. They relate to the idea of goddess as embodied in a human being,  rather than as male or female. There is an element of my culture in Entelechy 21, which includes a Chinese instrument.”
goddess chen 2

“I came up with idea for these works in graduate school. One day I was eating chicken wings, and I put all bones together,  I just used wires to bind them together and I realized that if you hang everything in the middle, the sculpture can flow in a fluid way,” the artist relates.  “My pieces follow a similar composition to that of a lot of traditional Chinese paintings, where lotus flower stems go up and lead your eye to the flower and then back to the ground again. That fluidity inspired me.”
Goddess debrii

Above: work from the installation art of Debriti, JonMarc Edwards.  His concept uses words as form. He “sells” bags of letters, phrases.

goddess dulce

Above, curator Dulce Stein, who put together an exuberant opening that featured music, ceviche, salads, and wine. Plus of course, excellent art. Consider her a – goddess.

goddess gab painting

Above, The Girl with Skirt of Jade, the work of Gabriela Zapata, pictured below with another of her magically intense works.

“I’m making the essence of feminine, woman, man, all creation that exists. My art reflects my culture, which is Mayan, indigenous Mexican, and how that culture has survived after the Hispanic people came to the country.”

goddess gabriela

goddess garcia

Elisa Garcia, above, hails from Uruguay. She is painting in watercolor here. “There is no theme to my work, just colors, shapes, textures, squares with soft edges,” she attests. “I’m playing with shape and texture. I use salt to add an effect to some of the paintings. The washed out effect in others comes from drops of water. ”

Along with Garcia’s painting, she also sings folk-style songs many of which reflect the music of Fado from Portugal. “I have a duo with my husband, Leo Munoz.” Munoz is a well-known musician in his own right, and when the couple met, Garcia was a fan of his work.

goddess musicians

Goddess perez

Eva Perez, above, created a profoundly moving video installation dealing with the artist’s personal experience with fertility and age, titled Do You Have Kids?

“In any social interaction, people ask this personal question. There’s humor in the film, and pain. It’s a dialog, an untold story that we can all relate to, yet achieving or not achieving pregnancy is still considered a taboo subject,” Perez notes.

Exposing taboos, elevating the human with the divine. That’s Goddess, noun.

The Gallery is located at 12629 Hawthorne Blvd. in Hawthorne – go elevate.

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