Disaster Series

 

Usually, each painting presents a view through my studio window of a scene of destruction by nature or by human manipulation of nature.  Collapses of the environment including fire, lightening, tornados, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear explosions appear as the view from inside my studio despite being derived from various geographical locales.  Extreme threat is examined in the format of an overwhelming energy issuing from the outside world, the force of nature, and its interaction with the natural landscape. 

 

The interior views of the studio remain pristinely white, with an artificially minimal illusion of space and of accompanying crucial objects from our daily lives.  This space, however, is reality.  It is drawn from life in one risky and sustained period of observation with the technique of blind contour drawing (this prohibits looking at the drawing as it is being created). 

 

Technological innovations such as iPhones, iPads, HD DVD players, laptops, smart phones, LED lights and gaming appliances are represented in a disparate and quirky stylistic variety. And significantly, these machines and devices become undone and dissipated by the very line that creates them.

 

Insects appear as the bridge or interface between the exterior and the interior and navigate both.  Cockroaches, cocoons of larvae, spiders, fireflies and other bugs co-inhabit our domain and represent a more highly evolved response to the threat of nature than humans.  Here, on several levels, the sublimity of nature merges with the lowly as a force for both life and destruction.

 

Margaret Keller

St. Louis

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