Body and Cloth has been my subject for many years. Either cloth is in concert with the body or cloth takes on its own dance of transformation. In this ongoing series I am painting people I know, who are my age or older. I mean to capture something of the significance and distinction that has been gained by lasting through uncertainties and vulnerabilities within the influences of life and death. They are each posed in an awkward position, as aging is awkward, but they still manage some grace and force of character. The bodies and cloth are meant to perform similar conditions metaphorically as they knot and loosen in emotional tying up and releasing. I use cloth as background because it is a human construction and as the folds turn in on themselves, they take unique, never to happen again forms, mimicking how each person’s composite traits and qualities are distinctly their own.
A Boulder, Colorado native, Irene Delka McCray earned her BFA from Colorado State University and her MFA degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is currently Professor Emeritus at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and also taught for seven years at Santa Fe Community College and three years at Santa Fe International Academy of Art.
McCray’s paintings and drawings of the figure have been exhibited widely, primarily in Colorado, New Mexico, and California. Her work is in the Denver Art Museum’s Permanent Collection. Other exhibition venues include the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, CO, the Center for Visual Arts, CO, Boulder Center for the Visual Arts, Co, Pacific Grove Art Center, CA, Oakland Center for the Arts, CA, Kansas City Arts Coalition, MO, and the Museum of New Mexico, NM. She is a former member of Pirate, a Contemporary Art Oasis, CO, and is currently represented by Sandra Phillips Gallery, CO.
During her time in New Mexico McCray studied in earnest Archetypal Dream Work with Ann Yeomans, whose treatment of psychic imagery continues to impact her work. McCray’s paintings and drawings arrive out of the soul realm of human experience. The episodes occurring, often between body and cloth, are meant to depict a deepness of spirit and grace, stirred with unease.
It Took This Long To Get Here
Opening November 1st, 2019
From artist statement:
It Took This Long To Get Here features the newest series of paintings by Olive Moya. The bold graphic colorscapes, defined edges, line-work and movement hint at Moya’s background in illustration and lettering. She most recently describes her paintings as “abstract storytelling,” influenced by how Frank Stella described his own work, saying: “[Abstraction] could have a geometry that had a narrative impact. In other words, you could tell a story with the shapes.” Each of Moya’s works are a push and pull between intuition and control. It is a performance by and for the artist, reflecting identity back on oneself to simulate comfort and stability in the face of fear and loss of control.
Moya pairs the soft consoling colors of her childhood with the vivid influence of her early-adulthood in Los Angeles. The pale turquoise of the wallpaper in her childhood kitchen, or the faded nostalgic hues of Disney films on VCR against saturated primaries, striking yellow-greens and hot pinks. Cloud-like organic shapes float across her panels, clustering around each other and are sometimes interrupted by sharp black pathways referential of Keith Haring and of Cy Twombly’s blackboard drawings. Each pair of black lines can be twisted and angry, slow and methodical, meandering, decisive, or stuttering- all layering atop each other and the dreamlike colorful background. Some pieces exist only as vivid pathways tangled, layered, and overwhelming. The work often incorporates one or more clean shifts, giving the impression of a changing timeline, comic strip or storyboard. Each piece can be the portrayal of a single moment, or a recounting of a transformation over years.
The titles of the paintings are gathered from various movie subtitle descriptions. Each title suggests that there is something in the work that the viewer has not heard or noticed and therefore overlooked. Furthermore, pulling from subtitles represents a chain of carefully curated versions of a story- the theatrics of the music, background noise, and non-dialogue character sounds that construct a specific understanding of what is being viewed. Moya pairs these sometimes humorous decontextualized parenthetical phrases such as “Rustling Continues” and “Slurping Loudly” with her pieces in an attempt to discuss our relationship with our own perceived identity. Often, we quickly we simultaneously neglect the truths of fear, failure, sadness and rejection and then fill it in idly in an attempt to comfort and control. The titles are also a nod to the artist’s relationship to humor in language, lettering, and text that lacks a visual presence in It Took This Long To Get Here.