A dark rainbow maelstrom of butterflies, an alien invasion beaming down on earth, cosmic elephantine showers, and dragons wreaking havoc, dribbling bloods of colors. These captivating narratives painted by Merion Estes at CB1 Gallery collectively evoke a sense of an impending doom.
Titled Dystopia, a long-term Los Angeles resident’s first solo appearance in this Santa Fe space looks past the nature’s dismay, a dystopian landscape engineered by the genius of mankind, in just a few short centuries after the industrial revolution. It points to what has yet but is to come. Beyond the dismal state of the world lies a planetary implosion —a dire destruction as if to right the course of man once and for all.
Seeing today’s turbocharged perennial output of both pre and post-apocalyptic dystopian narratives, constructed by the likes of Hunger Games, Divergent, Mad Max, and Terminator, the end may indeed be nearing and not just on a big screen. But unlike their stories of catastrophic devastation, Estes presents far more mysterious, idiosyncratically intimate tales of the end time. They are peculiar, odd, and bizarre; not at all mainstream or popcorn-friendly.
Fabricated with textile collaging, image pasting, along with paint squeegeeing and dripping, the artist’s gorgeously colorful, dynamically active abstract flares reify the dark cataclysmic power of the implosive forces. The catharsis showers the surfaces of her unstretched canvases, collapsing the earth to make anew. The harbinger has delivered the message.CB1 Gallery. It’s a GO-SEE-FOR-YOURSELF.
All images by author for editorial purposes only.