Sonntag, 30. Mai 2010

The works of Megan Madzoeff

The works of Megan Madzoeff

By Simone Kussatz

California artist Megan Madzoeff, trained at Art Center College of Design and Claremont Graduate University, doesn’t stick to one genre. Instead, she has a penchant for mixing abstractions with real images, inviting the viewer to submerge in her art work, as in her abstractions with ostriches that were showcased last year during the exhibit “Realities of Abstraction” in Project_210 in Pasadena. ”People feel uncomfortable if they can’t recognize what an art work is," Madzoeff says. "I’ve been always fascinated with ostriches. I love their faces and expressions. They look very curious to me. I wanted the viewer to look at my paintings the way ostriches take in the world through their eyes.”

In a fashion similar to Jackson Pollock, Madzoeff creates paintings utilizing pouring techniques, which she later contours with a palette knife. In one of her works, “Hive of vestige," she creates a bright green shape on a white background that looks like a parrot, whose left wing extends to a mountainous grey ground. In front of the painting, on the gallery's floor is a pile of dirt, providing the work a life in three dimensions. “I was so fascinated by the shapes that I created through the pouring of the paint," observes Madzoeff, "because they are things I would have not thought about on my own. And then I had this idea of worship and looked at my piece as a narrative. I don’t worship in my life, but I’m fascinated, because so many people take it seriously and there are wars over this. So, it’s kind of mocking worship.”

Aside from painting, Madzoeff, who studied film as an undergraduate, also does sound installations. In “21st Century Indexing," the viewer is surrounded by three white walls bearing an indistinct pattern in shades of green, orange, black, and blue. Fourty-two little speakers installed in the walls - each play something different - creating a chaotic sensation that refers to the overwhelming effect of the media on the human being. “I had to work in advertising and make senseless advertisements for movies. I could see how the ads and news were manipulating and bombarding people. And most people are not aware of its exhausting power. Also, in the air there is all this wireless activity happening, and we don’t see it, but it’s all over the place and I wanted to demonstrate how these multiple activities are coming at you.”

In another piece, “24 986 Miles," Madzoeff took about 4500 photos over a year, shot out of her car window during her daily four-hour commute between Orange County and the Mid-Wilshire district in Los Angeles. “I was sitting there wasting hours away in my car and then started taking pictures and documenting, and became really excited about it. Suddenly it became this big story of commuting and Los Angeles and the freeways and the trucks, and so I thought it is interesting that all our things come on trucks, yet everybody hates these trucks, because they’re big and they go slow, but on the other hand we want things in the store.”

Madzoeff belongs to the third generation of Armenian immigrants in the United States. When I asked her, if her Armenian roots come into play in her work, she said “The third generation doesn’t feel completely Armenian or American. I think one can find a relationship to this in my work. I don’t like to belong to any one thing. I’m a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Being Armenian-American gave me a different perspective and I feel I can relate to everything.”

Madzoeff is currently working on different projects, including a photography book about “24 896 Miles.” She’s also preparing for an exhibit on June 11th at the City Council Art Gallery and Performance Space in Long Beach titled “Ménage à Trois – an evening of Art, Music and Wine, benefiting a woman’s cancer foundation (for further information please visit the website “I first wanted to show my abstractions with the ostriches that I had shown last September in Pasadena and I was going to have them framed. But then I've felt I’m kind of passed that work and wanted to go back to pure abstractions, which I’ve done in the past and moved away from.”

Edited by Peter Frank

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