Through depicting insects and animals, artists Vanesa Gingold, Ana Labastida, and Julia Lucey examine our relationships with the world around us. Their colorful and complex compositions present unique morphological interpretations that offer new ways of seeing and understanding ants, moths, bears, and other organisms.
Vanesa Gingold is a San Francisco based artist who works in sculpture, painting, and printmaking, and teaches at Creativity Explored. She has exhibited work at Artist’s Television Access and CELLspace Gallery as well as for the San Francisco Arts Commission. A consistent theme in her work is the mixture of pain and joy in the realization that all things must pass.
In her series Flowers, Gingold’s artistic explorations of almost psychedelic flowers and intricate, black insects are peppered with startling scenes that allude to death and sex. Mountains of excrement befoul beautiful and fanciful flowers, and methodically rendered grasshoppers mutilate the innocent inchworms scooting along. It is a stirring juxtaposition of an aestheticized vision of the natural world and the dark, and often morbid, side of it that often goes unseen.
Ana Labastida (b. Mexico, 1977) is a conceptual artist based in Oakland California. She received her BFA from the National School of Fine Arts in Mexico City and is currently pursuing her MFA in Social Practice at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco from which she received a Merit Scholarship. Her practice spans installation, social practice, mixed media sculpture and photography. She is currently exploring our relationship to animals as a key aspect of how we understand our place in the world. Her work has been exhibited in Mexico, Spain, and the United States.
With a swarm of mirrored moth sculptures layered with the hands and eyes that connect us to cyberspace, Labasatida’s installation, Pullulate, examines the ways in which our world has become digitalized; each event, person, country represented by an internet page, asking: How is our digital experience affecting our definitions of space, time, growth, death? What does our digital self look like and how does it affect our relationship to our bodies? What new and unique possibility of acting as a community exists now that had not existed before?
A resident of Fairfax, California, Julia Lucey got her BFA in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and the inspiration for her art from her years spent backpacking and working in Wyoming and Montana. As an Artist-in-Residence at Kala Art Institute, Julia has focused on traditional etching techniques and aquatint to create images dealing with the evolving issues of wildlife, its dissolution, and the attempt by many to direct its path. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States.
Lucey’s newest etchings pair illustrations of animals drawn with almost scientific accuracy and human elements, like plaid textile designs and unnatural color pallets. In bringing these visually contrasting qualities so seamlessly together, her works suggest an entanglement between what is “wild” and what is “fabricated”— the line between these supposedly opposing worlds begins to blur, just as the layered lines of Lucey’s geometric patterning.