Mary DeVincentis paints eerie netherworlds, celestial panoramas, and earthly pastorals that usually function a lone girl and a forged of anthropomorphized animals and flora. Her cartoonish feminine topics—self-portraits, basically—stroll lonely roads or float by means of the air, at instances communing with nature in sunny meadows and crepuscular forests. The atmospherics are of ethereal somnambulism and introspection: Assume Aesop’s Fables meets Edward Gorey with a touch of roofied-out foreboding à la the 2019 folk-horror movie Midsommar. The artist’s exhibition right here, “Strolling with Ghosts,” prolonged this pensive arc with seventeen variously sized works in oil, acrylic, Flashe paint, and gouache on canvas and panels.
Within the decrease portion of the superlative Gathering and Gazing, 2022, a raging inferno surrounded by blackness licked at a discipline of blue, lilac, and white flowers towards the highest of the image. There, a girl stands together with her head bowed in contemplation as she clutches a bouquet of the aforementioned blooms. Within the distance lies thick woodland beneath a lurid purple sky and scudding clouds. The portray’s flattened, multitiered perspective unfolds throughout a single airplane, and our imperiled heroine seems to be wanting down by means of metaphorical layers, past her heavenly blossoms and right into a diabolical subterranean area. The ragged fringes across the fireplace, benign at first look, slowly flip into sinister beckoning silhouettes of cavorting legions.
DeVincentis’s talent at balancing existential exploration and environmental symbolism is also seen in When the Stars Are Calling You, 2021, and Ophelia Rising, 2022. Within the former, the sky is an electric-green vortex, rendered in quick scratchy marks, that descends upon a copse, whipping and thrashing it to the purpose of distortion. On this maelstrom, 4 nude feminine figures, backs arched, are airborne, both swinging from reams of dotted lights like trapeze artists or emitting luminescent bursts from their outstretched arms. The central character of Ophelia Rising hovers in entrance of a sundown, wreathed in blue flowers. There’s a stunning in-betweenness permeating these canvases—their internal psychology is transmitted through elemental motifs, suggesting self-realization and ascendant womanhood.
The work right here (maybe a number of too many for the modest two-room gallery) have been chosen to align with themes of inside battle and discovery encountered in The Convention of the Birds, ca. 1177, a religious story by Sufi poet Attar of Nishapur. In that textual content, the titular creatures are in want of a frontrunner and undertake an arduous expedition to see if the simurgh—a mythic avian being in Persian literature—will tackle the job. After a lot demise and destruction, thirty birds handle to outlive solely to search out that what they have been in search of lay inside all of them alongside.
This narrative was given kind in The Comfort of Birds, 2022, whereby a nude girl kneels in a grassy dale, gazing Narcissus-like into an oily black pond. Trying completely bereft, she hugs (or possibly even restrains?) a flamingo. Many different birds—owls, a starling, finches—are perched in a close-by tree and on a mountain with two breast-like peaks. Excessive aloft, a flock of geese fly westward. The portray appears to the touch upon ego, grief, and the attainment (and definitely loss) of knowledge.
DeVincentis is an intuitive and beautiful painter of reverie, mysticism, and vulnerability—a maker of gateways into otherworldly realms. The pagan, supernatural, and botanical motifs in her whirling compositions are so efficient that one longs to flee into her magical creations, it doesn’t matter what risks they might reveal.