Festive Descent: Virginia Diaz Saiki & Lucas Thomas
11/05/2021 - 11/27/2021
Opening Reception: First Friday, November 5, 6 - 10 PM
Festive descent is an approach of attitude to the past year and half of Covid quarantine restrictions. Both a falling into a forced introverted state and the investigation and experimentation of self-reflective discoveries found within that space. Often in difficult times, a survival mechanism of sorts is to take stock of those things for which we have gratitude. This body of work by Virgina Diaz Saiki, initially started as gifts for her immediate community. Her “Abundance Bowl'' monotype prints were to serve as a sort of talisman to remind her people to acknowledge and beckon abundance. Recalling her native Peru, Virginia filled her “bowls” with a developed vocabulary of abstract mark making and shapes that reflect her native people and landscape marked by millenia rich history of artesenias specializing in the abstract adornment and decoration of ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and architecture. Her “Abundance Bowls” would eventually evolve into a series that capture and contain the almost manic or stir crazy energy of the quarantine experience. The hard edged organic marks are corralled within a soft frame of pure geometric circles and ovals, presenting themselves as an almost festive record of the descent inward.
In an attempt to quote and capture his own inward journeys, Lucas Thomas depicts a solid set of “energies” on the telescopic sliding scale of landscape. The realms he depicts in his paintings and 3D work are inhabited by menacing feathered serpentine forms levitating over, writhing, or winding through a fantastical array of flora, objects, structures, stones, and mechanisms. A gaseous turquoise vapor permeates the picture space and binds together the vast infinity of the blue yonder. A migraine sufferer from a very young age, Lucas has sought a variety of methods for a cure. On this quest he has discovered some holistic relief by regularly venturing into a psychonautical medicine space. Hours of silent darkness serve as the ground for these healing experiences. It is in this realm that Lucas discovers many of the forms for his paintings and sculptural work. In an almost surreal survey of the irrational mind, his work aims to present a picture of interacting archetypes that reference his struggles with mental and physical health.
Perhaps so much of what propels an artist's drive to create are life’s ordeals and struggles. Whether it be the descent into (and emergence from) any trying experience, be it a migraine or the shared frustration of the Covid era, our ability to transform struggle and difficulty into a token or hopefully art, is cause for festivity.