PRESS RELEASE: Shooting Gallery SF: Ritual, a solo exhibition by artist Charmaine Olivia

Posted on Nov 9, 2011

The Shooting Gallery is pleased to present “Ritual”, new works by Charmaine Olivia
opening reception will be on January 14th from 7-11pm
this exhibit will be on display from January 14-February 4, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Artist Charmaine Olivia has long explored the female form through fantasy, surrealistic imagery, juxtaposed with touches of absolute realism. In her first ever solo show in San Francisco, Ritual explores the themes of magic and earth energies within a series of imagined females from a mythology of the artist’s own creation. The gallery will be transformed into a temple of altars for each of Olivia’s demigods; each surrounded by installations magical items, and other smaller artworks that pay homage to the central female. The opening reception for Ritual will be held at The Shooting Gallery on Saturday, January 14, 2012 from 7-11pm. The exhibit will be on display through February 4, 2012 and is free and open to the public.

In preparation for Ritual, Olivia has investigated mankind’s past cultural religious beliefs, and has incorporated everything from astrological symbolism to druid magic into her work. Her females represent power and strength within their particular realm of existence, similar to the gods of early polytheistic Greece. Translucent skin reveals skeletal forms in some, while waves of hair reveal bewitching flowers on others. Ritual aims to take the viewer on a journey through the Olivia’s own mythology, while traversing emotions that reside deep within our own subconscious.

Olivia’s luminous portraits are almost haunting in their beauty. Adorned with decorative bones, flowers, and feathers, Olivia’s figures appear regal, embodying a bold and fearless grace. With untamed hair and sensual poses, there is a wildness to these beauties that seems caged in. The lush surface of the oil-painted canvases seems like a thin barrier between us and the striking women at their center.

Undeniably feminine, the works present a balance of delicacy and strength. In “Cora” a light-haired figure gazes directly at the viewer through heavy-lidded eyes. Positioned at a three quarter angle, the young woman looks out at us with a turned head and one hand wrapped around the graceful arch of her throat, a pose that seems both powerful and oddly vulnerable. The portraits comprising Ritual are made even more bewitching by the altar-like installations set up around them. Specific to each individual painting, the altars are set with various frames, trinkets and bottles, creating a sense of sacredness and ceremony.

You can read more from Patron of the Arts at  Shooting Gallery SF: Ritual, a solo exhibition by artist Charmaine Olivia-Patron of the Arts.