Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mary Lou McCollum

Mary Lou McCollum

The “event” of interest today is that a friend and visual artist has finally put up a web site to show her wares and talents. See http://maryloumccollum.com. Since she turned professional in 1999, I have seen her talent erupt like spring tulips from the earth.

I am especially fond of her “stairs” series. Stairs have a natural geometry suggesting endless variation. Mary Lou paints them in their stark, existential facticity, inviting the viewer to ascend or descend their still silence into who knows what.

Mary Lou sees stairs in many aspects, from de Chirico-like surrealism to sunny, everyday realism. No people are ever shown in a stairs picture, yet stairs are a human artifact, designed expressly to transport people. Taken out of their human context by the artist, they become almost spooky.

I asked Mary Lou once what the stairs mean to her, but she didn’t know. She said only that there was just something compelling about stairs. She felt that she had only begun to scratch the surface of the theme. I am reminded of Richard Dreyfuss’ character in the 1977 movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, who was obsessed by an image of a mountain plateau without knowing why (it turned out to be a UFO site!).

I also like the chairs series, the interiors, and among the figures, the 9-11 piece. All told, a very nice web site opening!

(The artist and the author en plein air).

No comments:

Post a Comment