An Interventional Itinerary Worth Traveling to See – Gay Summer Rick
bG Gallery, Los Angeles
Through August 23rd
Written by Genie Davis
At bG Gallery through August 23rd, Gay Summer Rick’s light-filled, dreamy landscapes invite viewers to travel with her on a trip no one could take in 2020. While travel has opened up again for some, it is never too late to take a journey through Rick’s lovely destinations, each infused with a magical sense of stillness and respite.
Rick reimagined her original plans for a 2020 exhibition of aerial landscapes. Based on the frustrations and trapped feelings so many of us had at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these new works release the metaphorical fetters. Even as the world turned inward, she was hearing the longing of everyone she spoke with as they wished to be “anywhere else.” She says she was also deeply shaken by the pandemic, anxious at the restrictions of safer-at-home. Her own painting inspired her into a fresh resiliency as she began to express the ache and yearning of others to move on, to move through the world. The result is a lustrous array of images in a moving new series, Interventional Itinerary.
Some of the works here include sweet, “secret” messages within them, such as a license plate on a vehicle reading “Dream,” the car’s ruby taillights aglow. Her goal was to take viewers away from “their current reality, to a place where they may find themselves in moments of joy, enveloped in a quiet calm, holding onto big dreams, and embracing great hope for the brightest days ahead.” She succeeds.
There is also a joyous buoyancy, a lightness in these works that elevates and uplifts. That quality is not just about the beauty of each image, or her specific, soft palette, which moves from blue to golds and oranges, white, and raspberry. Rather that sensation emanates from a sort of transcendental peace that wafts through each piece. That peace is comprised of subject and color, but also the assuredness of the artist’s use of palette knife, and her exquisite representational ability. As realistic as its subjects are, Rick also takes us up and through these very real locales – urban New York, LA, the beach, the freeway, the tarmac, elevating the artistic traveler into a more spiritual realm.
Among the many gems in this collection is the evocative “Fog Sunset Above One Gun.” The remains of an orange sunset through a darkening blue sky glows, as pink fog fills a Malibu valley. Bisected by a delicate spiderweb of telephone lines, the hills and valley of One Gun Ranch have an ethereal and even otherworldly aspect; the gathering fog is a reality of the location, Rick says, but here she renders it magical.
“Dream Up” reads the billboard on the side of an airport runway in an eponymously titled painting. Disappearing into a vibrant pink sky, a jet soars like a bird, perhaps a gull, stretching its wings for a long flight. It’s a “Green Light” above downtown LA’s Hope Street, in a work that gives us golden city buildings and a distant rooftop sign with a soft pink heart. Rick’s “Dahlia’s in a Night Sky II” are golden fireworks in a rich blue sky; “Deep Blue” gives us a lingering magic-hour navy to royal blue Heaven, glowing pier lights, and a pearl-white glow cast by those lights on the shallow sea.
Her “Anticipation II” is a pale, cantaloupe shaded sandscape with a tiny figure, arms outstretched, moving along the shore as the sun begins to rise. A soft pink sailboat drifts through the silver of another ocean scape, “Fog Before Noon.” The boat is hauntingly barely visible yet appears to be sailing a translucent and calm sea.
As a whole, the delicate beauty of Rick’s oil-on-canvas work in this series is both transporting and fully grounding: the longing for new destinations is met in that sense of transport, while the grounding of an unsettled spirit finds respite in her quiet messages of hoping, dreaming, and sailing onto smoother seas and sweeter streets.
bG is located at 2525 Michigan Ave. #A-2, Santa Monica, in the Bergamot complex.