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Resa Blatman – Pure Love: Stardust, Clouds, and Dandelions
Hope springs eternal in Resa Blatman's new exhibition at Childs Gallery, Pure Love: Stardust, Clouds, and Dandelions. After the heaviness of the past several years, Blatman's latest work focuses on the optimistic ideologies associated with the arrival of springtime. Renewal and revitalization are represented through dandelions and clouds highlighted with golds, bronzes, and sparkling glitter – ephemeral objects grounded in more permanent materials. Musing on love, nature, the universe, and death, Blatman's paintings, drawings, and installations in Pure Love are a visual reawakening after darkness.
Fond memories from Blatman's childhood are embedded into her new work, revealing themselves through the artist's style and aesthetic choices. Her father was a master upholsterer whose material room full of differing textiles provided an ample playground for a young Blatman. Her interest in varying materials and textures manifests in the use of diverse media such as oils, colored pencils, gold leaf, and glitter, on unusual substrates like mylar and aluminum panels.
Since contracting Covid in March 2021 and again in April of 2022, Blatman has contemplated the relationship between humanity and all existence - life on Earth, the clouds, the stars, the universe – building a body of work reflecting ideas of interconnectedness and impermanence. After a hospitalization during her first bout of Covid, Blatman returned to her work with a sense of renewal and hope – somber black backgrounds turned to glittering gold, and fluffy dandelions and clouds began to appear in her paintings.
These soft, mutable, ephemeral objects speak to the brevity of life, the inevitability of death, and the integral connection between the two. Yet Blatman isn't just interested in beginnings and endings – she also considers what happens during the in-between. The happiness, the turmoil, and myriad of other states we experience during our time on Earth; humans, like the objects in her paintings, are ever changing. Her new works are in effect, radiant, sparkly memento mori – reminders of our frailty but also to enjoy ourselves, as time is ultimately fleeting. Blatman has challenged herself to tackle overwhelming subjects and morph them convincingly into tragically beautiful works of art.
Though her work may confront daunting ideas, Blatman states that the paintings, drawings, and installations in her new exhibition come from a place of love and gratitude and hopes to offer viewers a feeling of grace as vast as the universe.
Pure Love: Stardust, Clouds and Dandelions is Blatman's second solo exhibition with Childs Gallery and is on view May 19 through July 9, 2022. An opening reception with the artist will be held Thursday, May 19, 4 to 8pm and an artist talk is planned for Saturday, June 18 at 1pm.