Miranda Ratner: All You Need is Love – and Art
by Genie Davis
Her work resembles flowers, stained glass, and eye-popping mosaics. With a new show scheduled to open on December 7th at the Hubbell Street Galleries in San Francisco, Miranda Ratner is in bloom.
The show is “We Are Love,” and it is more than an exhibition, it is also a “Love-In,” through which Ratner hopes to open viewers’ hearts and minds to ideas of healing, connectivity, and universal love. If this sounds like a throwback to 60s era idealism, then so be it. We could all use a little love in our hearts these days.
Ratner’s BFA graduate exhibition is powerfully vivid, all bright colors that seem to pulse with energy. The works are not only brilliantly colorful but wonderfully patterned. The patterns are such that they often appear layered on top of each other, as if the colors could move and shift and are innately alive.
In Ratner’s own words, she seeks to “actualize a spirited chromatic universe…” There is a positivity to her work, a sunshine-quality of light within her colors, illuminating them and making them glow. Some paintings are circular, some rectangular; in one, strings fringe the bottom, in another she weaves yarn pom-poms into her work. Her sculptural pieces appear to be in gestation, about to take flight, or burst into flower. There is a wonderfully transitory feel to her work, in part because of the shifting of colors and the embrace of light in each of her pieces. From sculptures shaped from chicken-wire to works on canvas to which she adds dimensional elements, the artist experiments with shape, light, texture, and above all color.
And with this exhibition, there is an added element: a participatory one for viewers.
“For years, I’ve had the creative and political desire to organize artistically fueled Love-Ins,” Ratner relates. “A Love-In is a public gathering intended to celebrate love, peace, life and human connectivity. I find there to be much social and political power in radical love, as well as personal and communal healing. I find it extremely important and crucial, especially in today’s social climate, to spread love and positivity as much as we can.”
According to the artist, “My personal mantra is ‘I am love’ which inspired the title of my show, and my desire to start organizing Love-Ins. The artistic spaces that I create using paintings, sculptures, and found materials are multi-sensory installations that embody my own state of being.”
She adds that her use of “bright warm colors and organic objects, shapes and patterns are my visual ambrosia. When making my work I use the colors, materials, and compositions that I feel best articulates my own feelings of euphoria and pleasure.”
And that euphoria is contagious – the intense colors and sinuous patterns can’t help but connect to some center of happiness within viewers. Her abstract landscapes are the visceral opposite of the darkness of our current politics and divisiveness.
“My visual language is composed of highly saturated colors, sparkly and fluffy materials, organic abstraction, and amorphous forms. Through creating multi-sensory artistic environments, I am inviting the viewer into an energetic experience, and in the case of a Love-In, a celebration of life and love.”
And seeing Ratner’s work is in and of itself a reason to celebrate.
“By calling my show ‘We Are Love’ and emphasizing love in my artwork, I hope to enliven in hearts and minds the ideas of universal love and connectivity.”
We Are Love
Solo Exhibition and Love-In
Hubbell Street Galleries
151 Hubbell Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
December 3 – 10, 2017
Opening Reception: December 7, 5:30 – 7:30pm