REM Gallery in San Antonio recently opened an exhibition by Oregon-based artist, Laurel Bustamante. She began this body of small-scale paintings in 2007 during a residency at the Majestic Ranch Arts Foundation outside Boerne, Texas. In gouache and acrylic on clayboard, she paints birds, or “portraits” of birds, as she calls them.
She sets her subjects in dark, loosely defined landscape spaces and executes her portraits in the vocabulary of “Persian miniatures, Roman frescoes, and modernist abstraction.” They are also strongly reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch, not only in their fine decorative elements, but also in their darkness of mood. Bustamante’s paintings are undoubtedly lovely, but there is something a little eerie in them, too. They are both whimsical and haunting, not saccharine like a fairy tale, but darker…more like a story from the Brothers Grimm, perhaps.
Laurel Bustamante: Night Birds will be on display January 14 – March 4, 2011
REM Gallery is located at 219 Park Ave., San Antonio, TX
Hours: Friday and Saturday, Noon-6pm