By Brian Goslow
Boston, MA – Along with being the director of Galatea Fine Art, in Boston’s SoWa District, Marjorie Kaye is an artist whose organic 3-D layered wooden sculptures are immediately identifiable as hers. Her latest collection of work, “The Magnetic Divine,” is now on view at the Galatea, sharing the gallery with Hope Ricciardi’s “Oya” and Joe Caruso’s “Postcards” exhibitions. Artscope’s managing editor, Brian Goslow, exchanged questions with Kaye about balancing her art career with running her own gallery, the work in her show and how it’s complemented by Ricciardi and Caruso, what it’s like to watch and listen to potential buyers as they look at your work, and when she expects to take a break.
HOW DIFFERENT IS IT PLANNING FOR YOUR OWN SHOW COMPARED TO THAT OF OTHER ARTISTS, ESPECIALLY AT YOUR OWN GALLERY?
Setting up the show is really referring to my own personal aesthetic, and since the work is accumulated over time to become a coherent body of work, it is a very singular experience. Working with others is really responding to their particular vision and is more like being another voice for an individual artist.
DO YOU PLAN ANY DIFFERENTLY FOR A GALATEA OPENING WHEN YOUR OWN WORK IS INVOLVED?
Yes! I don’t intend to work in the myriad of functions I find myself in during a reception. I need to be available to respond to visitors regarding my own work.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR OWN CAREER AS AN ARTIST WITH RUNNING A GALLERY?
There are pockets of high energy focus that are associated with running the gallery that do, in fact, tend to need immediate response from me. At those times, I know that after a certain attention to gallery functions is paid, I am able to return to my own work. Usually I am able to split the day up quite well, since I find it easy, to move back and forth between worlds.
Also, when I am scoping out other venues for my work, I have a good handle on what the person on the other end needs from me, which is always a good thing. Naturally, like everyone, I would love 24 hours a day in the studio. But running this gallery has opened many doors.
TELL ME ABOUT THE WORK IN “THE MAGNETIC DIVINE …”
The work in “The Magnetic Divine” is sculptural, both relief and 3-dimensional free standing. A lot of it is based on the discovery of the space between angles, and the energy that dwells there. Much of it is studies of the conversation between shapes as they build up on the surface, as in the relief sculptures. All of the work refers to the interrelationship between elements of form and color.
IN THE IMAGES I’VE SEEN FROM THE SHOW, YOUR WORK SEEMS TO BE COMING “ALIVE” AS OPPOSED TO HAVING A THREE-D PUZZLE FEEL; HAVE YOU CHANGED THE MATERIALS YOU USE IN MAKING YOUR WORK?
It is more a change in the configuration of the materials. I still work with wood. I tend to soak the gouache right into the wood grain rather than use any board adhered to the wood, which is what I started doing a couple of years ago. And also, in the case of the relief pieces, I sandwich some foam core in between 1/8-inch plywood, to keep the pieces lighter. The layering is much deeper in all of the work, as well. There are many more components I’m working with.
HOW LONG HAS THIS PARTICULAR GROUP OF WORKS BEEN IN PROGRESS?
I have been working sculpturally for about three and a half years; however, these particular works started coming together one and a half years ago, approximately.
WHY ARE THEY CALLED “THE MAGNETIC DIVINE?”
I noticed that my work appeared to be constructed by a combination of chance and intention. This, I believe, is part of the duality behind magnetic energy, a reflection of universal intelligence. My artist’s statement reads: “The dialogue between areas of formation suggests the complexity of life, which generates the multiplicity of cells and organisms… Parallel to the physics of magnetic energy are the reflections of emotional states and intellectual thought patterns stemming from aspects of cause and effect. Each piece expresses visual patterns of brain synapses and internal fireworks; a gestalt of revelation and contemplation, reaction and experience.” I believe that magnetism is the basis of the formation of matter and light, thus, a crude vibration of the divine.
WHEN YOU MOVE ONTO YOUR NEXT PROJECT, WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR EARLIER WORK? DO YOU CONTINUE TO SEARCH FOR NEW VENUES TO DISPLAY THEM OR ATTRACT POTENTIAL BUYERS?
Yes, if a venue or opportunity arises that seems relevant to an earlier work, I will show it. But I typically won’t show something that is not connected to current work somehow.
FOR ME, AS A WRITER, I CAN BE CHALLENGED BY BALANCING WANTING TO GET TO KNOW AN ARTIST WHOSE WORKS ATTRACT MY ATTENTION WITH KNOWING, WHETHER I’VE INTRODUCED MYSELF IN THAT FASHION OR NOT, THAT THEY’RE WATCHING MY REACTION TO THEIR WORK. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WATCH PEOPLE VIEW YOUR WORK, ESPECIALLY IF THEY SEEM TO BE POTENTIAL BUYERS?
I enjoy it. It is refreshing to hear differentiating points of view and reactions. I usually try to remember that the individual is reacting to my work as it relates to his/her own experience. This can be a reaction from a like-minded individual, which evokes the joy of having someone “understand” the work; to someone who is coming from a purely reactive place. This provides another dimension to it.
I think an artist needs to separate themselves from being tugged one way or another by a person’s reaction to their work. It’s difficult, as we’re all looking for that spark of reassurance from the viewer. When I am aware that someone is a potential buyer, of course, there’s that little voice in the back of my head, the awareness of that possibility. But I try to approach people whether they will buy or not, as each having an interesting outlook on what I do.
YOUR EXHIBITION SHARES THE GALATEA THROUGHOUT OCTOBER WITH HOPE RICCIARDI (“OYA”) AND JOE CARUSO (“POSTCARDS”); TELL ME ABOUT THEIR WORK AND HOW YOUR WORK COMPLIMENTS ONE ANOTHER …
It is an absolute stroke of wonderment that the three of us are having our solo exhibitions simultaneously. There is harmoniousness on so many levels. First, all three shows have a very strong statement, albeit completely different. All of them are celebratory.
Hope Ricciardi’s work celebrates the strength of the Armenian women during the terrible time of diaspora. “Oya” refers to traditional lace-making, which the women, despite being humiliated and tortured on the death marches, were able to still pass down the generations. They stubbornly hung onto tradition in the face of obliteration. It is a testimony to strength and courage.
Alternatively, strength and courage find their place in Joe Caruso’s work, as well. These paintings are a celebration of the denizens of Provincetown. He states: “This is a show about celebration, culture and fantasy. The paintings, which remind me of postcards, depict figures participating in community celebration and/or celebration of self.”
My work is a celebration of the vibrancy of universal energies and interrelationships in the natural world. It all works together beautifully.
IS IT IMPORTANT FOR TWO-OR-THREE PERSON EXHIBITIONS TO COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER OR IS IT BETTER TO HAVE “SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE?”
These are actually three solo exhibitions, and three different statements and bodies of work. But since they are occurring simultaneously, it is natural for the shows to either work together or be on a more singular vein. Personally, I usually can find a common thread between works that are shown together. Sometimes it’s a little more subtle, and sometimes it’s fairly obvious. I tend to like it when there is a conversation taking place between the artists through their work.
WHEN DO YOU GET TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND RELAX?
Ha! I’m looking forward to it!
(Marjorie Kaye’s “The Magnetic Divine” continues through October 27 at Galatea Fine Art, 460B Harrison Ave., #B-6, Boston. For more information on Kaye’s work, visit http://www.marjoriekayeart.com or call the gallery at (617) 542-1500.)