Did you know that the art of recycling is also a 21st century art form?
At the opening reception for “Turbulence: Birds, Beauty, Language & Loss,” our minds and eyes were popped open by the colorful, tactile and three-dimensional feathered artwork of Deborah Kruger.
The artist had an ephipany while she was researching endangered birds. At this same seminal moment that she was saddened by the plight of bird extinctions, she also realized that many languages were also on the verge of extinction, including Yiddish, spoken by the elder generation of her family. By over-printing text in these languages on top of the images of endangered birds, she brings this impending loss to our consciousness.
The fabulously named Madagascar Serpent Eagle is portrayed here on beautiful porcelain plates produced locally in Tlaquepaque. Kruger’s floor installation, “Broken,” illustrates how the eagle, the Shoe-Billed Heron, along with so many other species, are all at risk of becoming broken off for all time, virtually extinct.
The artist works from her large and airy studio in Chapala on pin-able walls covered with her fused plastic bags now transformed into colorful wedges and images silk-screened at her studio with the help of her Mexican team of assistants. In her earlier work, also on display, the artist experimented with waxed linen and textural wire thread.
The artist began to use maps for the format of her work and she chose countries, such as Cambodia, where the Bengal Florican is on the verge of going the way of the Dodo. Kruger’s theories and research bloom into spectacular works of art.
“Turbulence,” the title work in the exhibition appears on a dramatically painted blue wall and sports a robust yellow, gold and red palette.
At the first view, you are struck by a shock of color. Then the nearer you approach the artwork, your mind’s eye marvels at the intricate detail involved. You want to touch, like I did, and see how the “feathers” were attached.
A more succinct (and affordable) version of Kruger’s works have been made into Giclee prints produced in Guadalajara, which capture the essence of her work.
The latest work in Kruger’s genre is the rather fabulous spiral sculpture titled “Vortex,” which symbolizes the Pacific Trash Vortex, endangering not only sea birds but all marine fauna.
But the main thrust of Kruger’s work is to take her environment and transform it into a brilliant burst of color.
As with all artists, whether Pollack or Rembrandt, she holds us n the moment as we escape into her mind and ideas.
The show is located in Chapala’s Centro Cultural Antigua Presidencia in downtown Chapala. Everyone is welcome, so just walk in. Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.