Homesick Aliens Have Landed Bearing Art Goddesses
Homesick Aliens Gallery, Larchmont Village
through december 4, 2021
Written by Genie Davis
New in Larchmont Village, Homesick Aliens gallery is currently presenting an exuberant, witty exhibition featuring four artists: Linda Sue Price, Debbie Korbel, Palmer Earl, and Alexsandra Papoban.
Neon, ceramics, painted, and sculptural works are all on display in Goddesses, which is an apt name for these masterful artists, as well as for many works. Each artist offers a unique vision, and while disparate in approach and often in subject, the consistent originality and clever spin on their subjects blends to form a cohesive show.
Korbel’s work includes the luminous blue/purple black wings of the titular bird in “As the Crow Flies.” The bird balances, precarious and graceful, caught in flight and alight with its own dark feathered rainbow. This glowing winged creature is almost unbelievably created from prosaic cardboard in a sculptural work that also includes metal and wood. The artist’s terra cotta “Feral” is Medusa-like, with tangled branches protruding from her wavy red curls, her eyes sullen and yet ablaze. “The Kiss” is comprised of two kissing heads, one seductive female body, an image both sensual and somewhat fearsome. It also recalls Greek goddesses and supernatural myths.
Korbel’s sculptural works pair nicely with Palmer Earl’s paintings. Earl’s antlered, deer-headed nude woman in “Artemis,” could be related to either the women in Korbel’s “Feral” or conjoined figures of “The Kiss.” Here, Artemis strides with power, light from a turquoise blue sky behind her as she stalks through the forest. Also dovetailing with Korbel’s work is Earl’s powerful “Bird Goddess.” This red-winged creature is about to take flight, leaving behind an empty nest. In front of her, a sky turns deep gold, edged with a nearly translucent, exultant blue. “Fertility” depicts a delightful animal kingdom surrounding an enormous and kaleidoscopic flower ringed by wavering, anemone-like leaves. Cat and frog, turtle and peacock, rabbit and red snake watch, beautiful creatures circling the emerging floral image. We see only the mermaid tail of “Aphrodite” reaching down through a stream swirling with lustrous patterned koi. The blue background is rich again here, alive with the shadows of fish and ribbons of light.
Any mention of light leads to the illuminated strength of neon artist Linda Sue Price, whose palette here is a fecund mix of greens in two of the images. Among my favorites of the exhibition is her “Dragon Tongue Bean.” A gorgeous chartreuse green, the wavery, brilliant shape of a bean plant protrudes up through striations of brown that indicate a vegetable springing from the earth. It appears as if supported by a backdrop of wire fencing, supporting its spectacular and quite magical growth. “Snake Beans” gives us two separate, beaded-neon bean shapes, similarly supported with wire mesh, and just as wonderful. The beading is mesmerizing and evokes the idea of spouting seeds and the gestation of new growth; the neon itself almost appears to expand as the viewer watches, the work of a goddess of nature.
Other images move away from this nature-based alchemy. “Question Listen Think” uses beaded orange neon in its fiery abstract swirl, searing in support for the title text that is written behind it. Price’s palette in “Change” includes a bright fresh green neon and beaded orange, set against a transitioning orange, gold, and green background, and pledging a different kind of fresh growth to come.
Papoban’s ceramics are surreal and playful, using an artful mix of red clay, underglaze, and glaze. Bowls, plates, cups, napkin holders – each of her objects seem ready to morph just out of formal shape, ready to take on a different life-form. Each piece bears images, some singular, some multiple, of eyes. They look at the viewer, but the gaze is more weary or playful than ominous or staring. Mixed media works such as “Lovers #4” continue her thematic use of eyes, but here, they are turned toward one another, askance, against an aqua-toned background.
Viewed as the work of passionate individual artists or as an interactive group of solo shows, Goddesses is an exhibition well-worth viewer worship.
Homesick Aliens is located at 564 N Larchmont Blvd. in Los Angeles. The exhibition runs through December 4th.