A little burst of summer appeared this week at the Burnet Art Gallery at the Chambers Hotel. Local artist Andrèa Stanislav’s exhibit Holiday in the Sun offers bright, glittery, pop-inspired paintings (and one sculpture) in the cold dark weeks of January. “When I walked in it, felt like artistic lucky charms,” said Matt Van Ekeren, a fan of Stanislav’s work who came to the opening night reception. “It’s like art candy.”
|holiday in the sun, an exhibit of work by andréa stanislav. on display through february 2 at the burnet gallery in the chambers hotel, 901 hennepin ave., minneapolis. admission free. for information, see chambersminneapolis.com.|
There is an joyfulness inherent in the exhibit. Stanislav said in a telephone interview that she used the glitter and brightness to draw people in and seduce them with color. Once the audience is drawn in, though, they interact with the layers in the art. There are the physical layers of the art itself, layers of optical illusion, and also layers of meaning.
Stanislav said that she starts with a wooden board and then paints Elmer’s Glue on it. Then she adds glitter, followed by resin polymer, and finally texts from popular culture. The layers of glue, glitter, and polymer create an effect of staring into infinity—or into a mirror. “It’s an exercise in seeing,” said Stanislav.
“The pieces explore the relationship between utopia and dystopia,” explained Stanislav. The pop culture references, both in text from movies like A Clockwork Orange and songs by bands like Nirvana, and in the Warhol-esque portraits of pop icons, make for a balancing act between the shine of celebrity and the dark connotations of the subject matter.
For example, the largest piece of the exhibit, Alex DeLarge, features three panels with dark green and blue glitter. Barely visible in the piece is a quote from Clockwork Orange: “As Clear as an Azure sky, Deepest Summer.” The line itself sounds hopeful and poetic, but actually is the response of Alex—a character in the movie—to an interrogation about his involvement in a gang rape.
Stanislav said that she has a personal fascination with pop culture. “It’s a strong part of the way we see, the way we interpret the world.” The daughter of musicians, she grew up listening to rock and roll. She said she chooses pop references to speak to ideas of utopia and dystopia because our society experiences the world through lines in movies and lyrics in rock stars.
So if you feel really cold and depressed this month, head on over to the Burnet Gallery at Chambers. It definitely cheers you up to just be in the brightly-lit room filled with fantastic colors. See how many lyrics you can recognize from the Sex Pistols, Nirvana, and others. You just might get drawn into the pieces, both for their mesmerizing glow and for the contradicting ideas that Stanislav subtly seduces you into engaging.
Sheila Regan is a theater artist based in Minneapolis. When not performing or writing, she serves as educational coordinator for Teatro del Pueblo.