Downtown Atlantis — a place of submerged forms dimly glimpsed among the floating kelp — represents the wellspring of the artistic impulse.For both artists, the creative process attempts to recapture a feeling both ancient and curiously familiar, a shock of recognition, rather than the invention of something entirely new. Like archaeologists, they engage in exploration, discovery and reconstitution. Artifacts dredged up from below are puzzling and unsatisfying until they are rearranged into a conjunction that seems to echo this lost world. Given our present ecological course, Downtown Atlantis may be our civilization’s future address, so perhaps it warrants a closer look. Hold these works to your ear like a seashell formerly inhabited by a mysterious creature, and listen for the sound of the watery world that is our origin and our destiny.
Natasha Dikareva was born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine and also studied in St. Petersburg, Russia. She came to the US in 1995 receiving her MFA from the University of Minnesota. Her work is known for its surreal, exquisitely formed human figures which often morph into other biological forms.. Dikareva’s latest series developed during an intensely introspective process confronting the idea of physical security. The work reflects a concern with current events and an imagined biological response to a world that has been decimated by industrialization, war and pandemic. New life springs from shells that have survived, offering a sense of optimism and security, a sanctuary from the adverse effects of an over-industrialized world.
Colette Crutcher began her career in the 1980s showing her paintings, drawings and prints in small venues around San Francisco. She broke into public art when she created a mural on private property, in a public location. “La Madre Tonantsin” at 16th Street & Sanchez earned her the Best New Muralist award from Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center in 1992. Since then Colette has created a number of large scale public works, on her own and in collaboration with her husband, artist Mark Roller, also with artist Aileen Barr. Some notable works include The Oceanview Branch Library, Minipark at 24th and York Streets, an 80’ mosaic mural on the 16th Avenue steps, near Moraga Street; and more recently The Hidden Garden steps at 16th Avenue between Kirkham & Lawton. While creating large-scale public works Crutcher continues to draw and paint and construct small wall and table-top pieces, out ceramic and various mixed media. She draws inspiration from the great artistic traditions of many cultures, and from isolated, quirky individuals mining their own psyches for material.
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