Monday, February 21, 2011

Abstracting With Lori Love Penland

  • After receiving a Facebook invite to the entitled 'Showdown', (a competition) exhibition of varied artists at Hart Witzen Gallery event I couldn't pass up the opportunity to not only attend a surprisingly unknown to my knowledge gallery in the area but also artists whose names were new to my ears and work to my eyes. 

    So there I am, confronted with a card at the door with a list of the artists names featured in the showing with empty boxes beside each name to puncher after viewing to cast your vote of choice for favorite artist to be inserted in a raffle box. But little did I know walking in, that the first viewed collection that looked to be inspired by the Rorschach test used to subject perceptions of inkblots for psychoanalysis would be my vote right away without any further consideration or curiosity of other works. After submitting my ballot I visited other mediums and concepts and fortunately I remained without regret - l know what I like. 

    Penland's mixed media abstract almost existential analysis on nature combined with sophicated composition and intelligence swooned me. Especially, the work on light boxes in particular. It's the kind of pieces you would even want to see in the dark and thanks to modern contemporary design being three of her canvases you can. The fascination of the human mind/nature with the play of the inkblot like forms give not only the eye constant evolution through shape from angle to angle but a perspective interactive. 

    Lori Love Penland's collection was featured at Hart Witzen Gallery from February 4th-18th. 


    Q - Out of curiously and not to 'kill the cat' but do you have a background in psychology? 

    A- I like to say that I have a background in the human animal. My first two years as an undergraduate student were spent in a premed program. I was infatuated by the human body at a cellular level, the level the human eye cannot see without the aid of microscope. However, that infatuation waned somewhat as I began to pursue interest in philosophy, psychology, sociology and the social sciences. I actually did a fellowship at a University in England studying the writings of Marx and Lenin.

    Q - I read a bit of info on your site and it quotes "My work as an artist is one of continual struggle whereby I attempt to narrow the chasm between vision and reality." and "Many of the paintings in the Human Touch series are based on images from photographs, newspapers and magazines documenting the state of society and the often overlooked emotions of shame, grief and despair as exhibited by addicts, the homeless, the institutionalized, and other more vulnerable elements of modern society."
    Would you then say that your work is conceptual in a way being that your last collections medium differentiates from your most recent? Does subject matter evoke what to do/use next?

    A- Let me just say that I see my art as a journey and like every journey, there's the actual physical, that which can be measured whether it be space, time, shape, color, etc..and then there is the metaphysical or the nature of the mind in relation to the physical.

    My latest series is really an attempt to marry these two worlds together. I think that the medium used in this body of work has taken me one step further in that journey in that I am attempting to bring others along on their own journey, realizing that while the physical may be common to all, the experience is unique to the individual. 
    For me as an artist, these pieces convey a certain conceptual completeness in my vision. They are organic, yet structured, a certain yin and yang, which again is very much a part of the human experience and particularly the human psyche.

    Q - When/Where will your work be featured next? 

    A- Currently, I have a duel exhibition scheduled to open in August of this year at a gallery in Gastonia. All the details have not yet been finalized. "In the Beginning" has also been juried by Nathan Trotman, Curator for the Guggenheim, as a semi finalist for a show in NY in late March. 

    -Amanda Medina

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