Years ago, my girlfriends and I would say Valentine’s Day should be renamed “Screw the Stupid Bastard Day.” This would be fitting regardless of your relationship status.
Oddly enough, all of us are now happily involved with guys that are man enough to look past our cynicism and bitchiness when it comes to all things love. In fact, we’re even looking forward to V-day this year.
Not only have I been stockpiling frivolous heart-shaped paraphernalia from Wal-Mart, I’ve been checking out V-day art as well. And no, I’m not just talking about the wide variety of singing Valentines at Hallmark. I’m talking actual art, like The Queen of Hearts exhibit at Upcountry Fine Art in Makawao.
Owners Pam Nesbith and Peter Fisher are not only awesome artists themselves, but they have great taste in art supplies, too. How genius is that–a gallery that not only exhibits some of the coolest creations on the island, but also sells artist supplies.
I was so inspired and swept up by the pieces in their exhibit that I bought some watercolor paper and pencils so I could paint a Valentine especially for my very own stupid bastard–I mean—my Lovey.
Checking out The Queen of Hearts exhibit before sitting down to a cozy dinner in Makawao would be a great Valentine’s date. Just make sure you have some input about how the art makes you feel, because chicks dig that stuff. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the exhibit:
Acrylic by Deybra Faid
I’m into Deybra. I’ve seen her work before over at her gallery on Baldwin Avenue. Her work usually involves big bold black lines and bright funky colors. This one is no different. “Serenity” is a large picture of a cartoonish blue-hued woman holding a rose to herself. If it weren’t for the crown, I’d picture her as the Madonna. My second thought is that, because of the crown, this would make a great “Queen of Hearts” in a deck of cards.
“Oh the Frequent Seas”
Oil on canvas by Randy Ross
Randy Ross won the 2006 Schaefer Portrait Challenge Marion Freeman People’s Choice Award for a ginormous, stunning self-portrait. “Oh the Frequent Seas” is a dark and brutally honest look at the idea of “love” or possibly infatuation. Ross presents two women (presumably the same person) with a lot of black, greens, tans, flesh tones, blues, oranges, reds and white. The predominate one is right side-up. The other is upside down. The former is posed playfully and provocatively, with eyes are open and bright and rosy cheeks. She looks beautiful and healthy. The second woman looks dead. Maybe that’s just me. It confuses me and makes me wonder. His work is thought provoking and disturbing in a delicious way.
“I am U2”
Acrylic on Wood by Stephanie Clifton
Stephanie Clifton’s work has been exhibited at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center’s prestigious Art Maui. “I am U2” is one of those paintings that seems really simple and pleasing at first glance, but grows more complex each time you look at it. An androgynous person (child?) wearing a crown smiles at us front and center. A rainbow shines above its head. Behind its back is a castle wall adorned with what looks like bird silhouettes. There’s a bird’s nest and blue egg on its crown and little fish jump in front of its heart-printed clothing. The name “I am U2” suggests that duality merged into a whole, but just when I think I get it, another interesting quirk pops up.
“Queen of Hearts”
Acrylic by Erin Pieguez
This is probably my favorite piece in the exhibit. In vibrant colors, the artist depicts a living tree with a big Afro of green leaves adorned with hearts. Her branches stretch towards the sky like arms, gesturing “Aren’t I fantastic?” or “Ta-Da!” Not only does the tree have boobs, she has nipples, which I honestly adore. It’s playful while still being classically pretty and a great interpretation of the title. MTW