By Sarah Kinkade
Boston, MA – Life is a complicated mess: there are ups and downs, joys and disappointments, smooth sailings and rough landings. It can be both ugly and beautiful, yet, the view of beauty generally prevails as almost everyone can agree that ‘life is beautiful.’ This sentiment is captured in the artwork of Sarah Meyers Brent.
Brent’s inspiration mainly comes from her own life as she works through various situations and events, finding beauty in untraditional ways. Within her drawings and sculptural paintings, she embraces the ugliness of things while highlighting the hidden prettiness underneath it all. And yes, many of her paintings go beyond the standard definition of the word and enter the category of sculpture as they ooze and explode off the canvas.
Many of her materials are organic — for example, flowers and dirt — mixed with acrylic to help give it shape. These substances help her work become a living, breathing organism, growing and decaying off the canvas and into the surrounding space as it drips onto the walls towards the floor.
Other pieces use more synthetic materials like gloves, clothing and dish towels. These installations are slightly more aggressive as the canvas is ripped open to reveal the chaos underneath, or it takes control over an entire wall. However, even with the added intensity, there is still a hidden beauty.
One of the more interesting installations is a pole that goes from floor to ceiling — or ceiling to floor depending on the view — and is entirely covered in various materials. It is almost like a game of I Spy; the longer it is looked at, the more hidden objects are found. This presents a new perspective on Brent’s work as viewers have the ability to walk around and get a 360 degree look at her creation.
Brent presents pieces that capture both the struggles and achievements of life and call to attention the juxtaposition of the beauty and ugliness it can produce.
(“Sarah Meyers Brent: Primal Garden” is on view through May 19 at the Walter Feldman Gallery, 5 Channel Center Street #103, Boston, Mass. The show’s opening reception will be held this Thursday, April 16, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and there will be a ‘Meet the Artist’ May 16-7 from noon-5 p.m. An artist talk will be held at 2 p.m. on May 16. For more information, visit http://www.artsandbusinesscouncil.org/walter-feldman-gallery.html )