Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Lore" Calan Ree Solo Show @ Blue Lucy

[Disclosure time: I own at least four Calan Ree works.]

I won't go into the biographical in this. Megan Voeller's piece at Creative Loafing did a  fine job in that regard [Link]. The walls at Blue Lucy are lined with mythological characters from many places and times. Each has its own micro-mythobiological card explaining the folklore/myths associated with it.

Years ago Calan evolved from the ubiquitous, cliche'd and popular cute and creepy style into something more personalized and universal. Each of the figures in the show is accompanied by a card with its corresponding myth. The artist has deftly avoided the lure and trap of reducing the narrative to an explanation. Each work refers to a figure with a role to play and a backstory (implying its future).

Calan Ree, "Eat Your Crusts"

Many relate to superstitions from the past, often with feminist overtones, such as the "Eating your crusts", more of an embodiment of a saying (look up Neverne Covington's work, she has been doing something along these lines, but very different). A bit of sympathetic magic about how eating bread crusts would  curl one's hair -- and increase their desirability, specially for girls. Note the figure's entire torso is full of faces, some skull-like. The individual reality as a conglomerate of a consensual cultural one?

Calan Ree, "Fairy"

Others are personifications of psychic energies, such as the fairies, who embody mishaps, children that turn out very differently from what the parents expected (they must be changelings!), and in the accompanying tales are "remedies" in the sense of amulets to help avoid or neutralize these spirits.
Below is one of these tags...

The work in this show relates to the viewers in the common experiences that these myths span. All of them are about dealing with the channeling of psychic energies in a way that makes sense of experience or prepares us for things to come, but most of all, bind us because most are things we have all experienced, or will someday. This goes far beyond a seemingly conflicting cute and dreadful genre and right into the core questions of fine art.

Calan Ree, "Heart Path"

Note that in this show, the pedestals on which the work stands are made from tree sections (no living trees were harmed to do this). So, the work is metaphorically a forest of sorts. In many myths, one enters the forest, becomes lost and through various adventures, rites, and personal growth finds oneself. Treat yourself and go to the show. I guarantee you at least one work of art will be like a shared dream, and you will find yourself on the wall at Blue Lucy Gallery.

--- Luis


1 comment:

  1. it was a pleasure sharing not only the work, but the lore that inspired each piece! glad you enjoyed it :)