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2016-2018 MOONBEAM PAINTINGS



Moonbeam is a series of collaged paintings made as if by Moonbeam, a fifties comics character, who reads zines, cuts them up, and channels them into dense, interspecific, intermediate maps.

By chance I found a cache of early eighties design and culture magazines, including Domus, Wet Magazine, and Archetype, which had been published at the dawn of the AIDS crisis, Reagan/ Thatcher, environmental crisis, and perestroika. Flipping through their yellowed pages, it’s not hard to find evidence of utopian schemes, aspirational designs, vampiric ecstasies: a blend of irony and innocence. I realized I could disintegrate content in these magazines by tearing and reassembling them in large compositions, as if I were an artist from their future...an alternative, fictional future that could have opened multiple lines, perhaps many survival supply chains, as the collective authors of those zines seem to have desired. Moonbeam conjugates this anti-normotic cosmos. ‘Moonbeam’ recalls Moonbeam McSwine, a character from the fifties comic strip, L’il Abner. She took part in action of the strip as a sideways observer, always under surveillance by the other citizens of the strip. She’s outside the norm, suspected ‘whore’, a bit player, who prefers pigs to men, and claims to be the only literate denizen of Dogpatch USA. Staying with the trouble – to draw on Donna Haraway – Moonbeam maps pathways for the cougar P-22, now living in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. She disintegrates shots of the Morphosis Flores House as a Death Valley bouquet, streaming Antonioni. Sometimes she transcribes favorite bits of Leslie Marmon Silko, Virginia Woolf, Lidia Yuknavitch, Aimé Césaire, or Octavia E. Butler.

Background to this page illustrates a group show, in which the first painting imaged here, Intimate Parts of Homelands Collapsed,  was on view:  Here in a Homemade Forest: Common Reading Connections, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Washington State University, Pullman, 2023-24. 
 
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