Mixed media oil paintings by Andrea Lambert
The germ of this series of paintings was a deluxe box of many colors of glitter. Left over from my wedding album finished years after my domestic partner’s suicide. "Glitter Paintings" began with Mod Podge collage from BON International #5 Magazine and Curve: The Best-Selling Lesbian Magazine. Intermittent sharpie for emphasis. Over the glitter queer fashion collages I oil painted composite images from my Tumblr: bruiseslikeblueroses.com. Tumblr is a dark anonymous Internet subconscious.
The Dionysian themes of my former West Coast life haunt my creative work. All my work is about sex and drugs but I don’t go in for either anymore. I’m old. I don’t end up at druggy afterparty orgies like in my twenties. In celibate sobriety I collage and paint nudes till dawn instead. Sublimation. Like a monk in an isolated monastery keeping civilization alive through the dark ages of Trump slashing NEA funding. Brushstroke by typed word.
I isolate nocturnally and paint to avoid the news. Avoid hostile unfamiliar Nevada outside. Paint gold halos around a porn star collaged from Curve in "Aliens at the White House." Hope aliens intervene with Trump to stop this march towards nuclear doom.
"Moonlit Standard Dreams" shows a lesbian hotel tryst. A painted blonde dreams wistfully of frolicking panty-clad magazine babes. On each dewy back the collaged words: "apps." Referencing dial-a-date apps like Tinder and Grindr. I will never use such apps but I hear the millennials love them. Her red lipstick peach fuzz stares upwards at a piece of Mod Podge notepad paper from a room at The Standard Hotel.
On the hotel notepaper: mystic sharpie drawings of Neopagan Triple Goddess symbols. Pentagrams. The triple goddess figures are represented by the Maiden, Mother and Crone. Maidens in collage frolic like Artemis: virgin Goddess of the hunt. Lesbian marriage delivered me from ever being the Mother figure of Selene. I passed directly on to Hecate. Approaching crone at grey haired forty.
In "Moonlight," a navy blue clad fashion model holds one finger to whispering lips. Her other hand touches a painted nude woman’s breast in a bathtub. Carnality sublimated into two dimensions. I collage and paint tender female flesh.
The beautiful younger woman I once loved is now cremated ash. I am too damaged to seek another. It is more dignified for a widow to remain alone.
Gold outlines around pink glitter magazine faces peek in "Moonlight." Blue black lines separate negative space as I am in my toxic damage separated from society. Italic text reads, "burning inspiration," on a milk-white moon above.
I look at the most elaborate painting of the lot, "Disco Clone." Cannibalizing my San Francisco party girl past. Painted listening to the Cristina (ReMix) of "Disco Clone." Playlist made from Anthony Hagen-Guest’s book about Studio 54, The Last Party. Gold glitter cheeks of a collage woman with thumb in red lipstick mouth. Black oil painted beauty mark like Marilyn Monroe.
Huge blonde woman with folded arms surveys cityscape with many tiny identical collage men wandering all over a neon skyscraper. Tiny man stands on her hands. The same man strolls on her Naples Yellow hair. Same man looks out from the red ribbon linking full moons.
Every man who walks into a night disco in a labyrinthian city is looking to get laid. Every man is the same. Like the lascivious men talking in the Studio 54 song. Like all the men I went home with from clubs in San Francisco. I used to be one of those "Disco Clones," Cristina sings of in manic melody. "Now nobody has to spend the night alone!" Piano keys collage in the corner of the painting. A repeat motif of red ribbon stringing together milky white full moons runs around the painting’s edge.
The red velvet ribbon linking many full moon motif runs throughout these "Glitter Paintings." Red ribboned moons are painted into: "Aliens in the White House," "Moonlit Standard Dreams," "Moonlight," "Disco Clone," "Cat Club Odalisque" and "Medusa Full Moon."
October 1, 2016 was my 40th birthday. Full moon in Libra. Black Moon. Blood Moon. My Hollywood to Reno transition began. I moved into my House of the Rising Sun at the February Snow Moon. March’s Worm Moon my backyard crocuses stirred. April’s Pink Moon bulbs bloomed milk-white, red and purple. By September’s Harvest Moon we may all be blown to rubble by nuclear bombs. I wish upon dead stars to live to see 2018’s Strawberry Moon. Perhaps by then I can relax into a future of further moon cycles passing above.
"Cat Club Odalisque" cannibalizes both my art school and party girl past. Italic collage text repeatedly asks, "Why does fashion cannibalize its own past?" The rest of the magazine quote is illegible under black oil paint. A classic beige and white dancing girl painted from Tumblr daguerreotype dominates the canvas. Collage text on her shoulder reads, "KNOCKOUT." Thigh text on marbled white oil paint reads, "Dance to music." Her retro slink is backed by collage black-clad models in painted gold frames. Like the gilt-framed mirrors of the Cat Club in San Francisco. I used to cab to that black leather curtain to paradise long ago. In lamé, chiffon and four inch heels. Collaged gold paint covered text reads, "The Subversive Prince of fashion talks about chaos, illegal clubs in Amsterdam and posing naked."
"Medusa Full Moon" is a self-portrait of pre-bleach black and white hair. Foregrounding the canvas is the collage Medusa monster I was before and may inside still be. Text beneath her blue glitter face reads, "So last season." The fashion monster is in the past. Behind the portrait: a gilt-framed collage pretty boy model under cerulean glitter. A flying goose. Red-ribboned moons.
As a witch, I pay special attention to the moon with an app on my iPhone. Full moons and New Moons are good nights for spells. Tarot spreads on Pinterest for full and new moons under different astrological signs. I find truth in the Tarot. Whether or not it is just another card game like psychological solitaire. Perhaps all this Wiccan hocus pocus is yet another delusion like alien archeologists. Such delusions comfort as I stare down nuclear doom.
I am a mentally ill artist on Disability. Writing compulsively as I can’t work anymore. Cannibalizing my glittering past in painting and writing. Turning from blonde maiden to grey crone. In this oyster cloister. Harvest moons pass to Strawberry Moons above my House of the Rising Sun. I stay safe inside avoiding Nevada’s opioid epidemic. Sublimate the Dionysian in brushstrokes and text. Milk audience attention with honey words and gold paint. Like a monk keeping the arts alive in the dark ages of Trump. Soon we may all blown to nuclear stardust.
~ Andrea Lambert
Andrea Lambert paints in figurative mixed media oils critically referenced in Anodyne Magazine as “kitchy maximalism.” Her artwork features in Angel’s Flight Literary West, Hinchas de Poesias, Queer Mental Health and elsewhere. CalArts MFA. Website: andreaklambert.com. Twitter: @AndreaLamber.