I got the chance to interview a really awesome duo this week- none other than Marguerite Freed and Yee Li!
However, in the midst of my excitement over their show, I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of the artists themselves 😦
Similar to last week, I was drawn in because of the colors and the canvases. It was mystifyingly engaging, even if all I had to do was stand and stare. I felt the brush strokes come alive once again, and the yearning to become a better painter resurfaces within me. I liked the use of the triangles and the colors. I was told that the cluster of triangles represented a mix of anxiety and the feeling of being trapped. It was so cool! The lines and the geometry really give the paintings an edginess and sharpness. Titled Introspection, I had an idea of what the term means because I studied it not too long ago in my psychology class. In simple definition, introspection means looking within oneself, like being aware of your thoughts and feelings. It’s a great word and I found out that it caters to both positive and negative thinking. Li and Freed talked a lot about feelings of anxiety, stress, and claustrophobia. It seemed that the paintings were a form of escaping reality to the- or an escape from their thoughts.I asked the duo what they used and surprise, surprise- Oil! I think I need to try oil for a change.
The paintings are a mess. But– It’s a wonderful mess, just like how the human mind is wonderfully messed up most of the time. Everyday we walk the face of the earth with feelings and thoughts that seem to intertwine and not make any sense, but that is what makes us human. Our ability to to establish and feel anything beyond happiness is a great example of our humanness. There is no fun in being happy all the time- it gets monotonous and boring. Our character isn’t able to fully grow if we are always happy. And as creatures who have the ability to dream bigger and aspire larger, it is just right to be conflicted or scared or anxious or stressed sometimes. Because of these feelings beyond happiness, great artists made influential works that has withstood the test of time. I am not, however, glamorizing mental illness. In fact, upon seeing the name of the show, Introspection, and hearing what the artists thought, I immediately thought about mental illness. These are artists who, in spite of their talent, are also disturbed by forces that seem out of their control… only to pull a complete 360 and harness the negativity they feel and make it into something positive.
I felt positive vibes- in fact, I was so surprised when the artists mentioned the stress and the other negative things. It was a reiteration of the lesson about not judging a book by its cover, and I re-learned it on the spot. The painting below is my favorite. The teal and its hues on pink and red background was such a feast for my eyes.
More of Freed and Li here.