« Posts tagged visual artist Liz McGrath

Elizabeth McGrath’s Incurable Disorder

I’m pleased to announce the release of Incurable Disorder : The Art of Elizabeth McGrath [Last Gasp], the second full-length monograph of this visionary artist’s works, including dioramas, mixed media paintings and three-dimensional sculptures produced from 2005 to 2012.

In addition to over 200 color images, the book includes introductory essays by filmmaker/producer Morgan SpurlockMcGrath’s art dealer Alix Sloan, and the artist herself.

Regarding the creative process of the “damaged anthropomorphized animals who would rather bite than be healed,” McGrath explains “The conception of these brainchildren is hard to pinpoint. They stem from the emotional encounters I have with humans, landscapes and objects, and are further shaped by the constant stream of words and images that survive my mind’s filter. Once I have the skeleton of an idea, the rest comes automatically, but staying on task through the many hours it takes to complete one of these works requires a heavy dose of news radio, stories, and audio books. For instance, the chapter titled ‘Altarwise by Owl Light’ started with a Dylan Thomas poem but grew during The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley…”

She continues, “When I see the finished pieces it takes me back to the story or vice-versa, like memories from a vacation.”

As aforementioned, the tome is divided into sections — each paired with a passage from a poem or literary work that functions as a companion piece. The chapters are as follows :

Tears of The Crocodile
[ excerpt from the poem “What All The World Is Made Of” by Robert Southey ]

Altarwise by Owl-Light
[ with an excerpt from the Dylan Thomas poem of the same name ]

Incurable Disorder
[ accompanied by my poem Dead Letters : Twenty-Six Are in its entirety ]

American Animals
[ excerpt from Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson ]

Shadowless Summer
[ excerpt from Thomas Pynchon‘s novella The Crying of Lot 49 ]

With Tomorrow’s Scream
[ accompanied by a quote from Redmond King ]

Elizabeth — a.k.a. Liz, a.k.a. “Bloodbath” — McGrath is the only artist whose creations I collect, and without doubt, one of my favorite people on the planet. We met through a mutual friend in 2002, when I was asked to M.C. the Broken Dolls fashion show in January of the following year.

I’ve written about her numerous times between then and now : regarding the release of her first retrospective  Everything That Creeps in January of 2006, the premiere of Cecil B Feeder‘s documentary Bloodbath : The Movie, the main subject of which is — yep, you guessed it — in 2011.

I even modeled for CREEP Clothing, Miss McGrath’s collaboration with B.F.F. Winter Rosebudd : a feat which included strutting around Echo Park with an evil-horned creature [the duo’s slaughtered chupacabra stole] draped about my shoulders, the pièce de résistance complete with velvet cloven hooves and a poisoned arrow. And did I love it? Every fantastic click and tick of the clock.

In short, Liz is generous, genuine, a true talent, and a stead-fast friend. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and truly : I’m honored to be part of this chronicle of her creative outpourings.

Oh. And uh, in the event you might have been “skimming”? It’s as simple as this : Incurable Disorder = new book you need in your life. Me? New poem in book. Matter of fact, I’ll save you a click and leave a copy right here, even . . .

Cheers!

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Bloodbath McGrath? Yeah, Maing: She’s The News…

Chances are, if you’re familiar with me/my work:
at one point or another you’ve either read my enthusiastic ramblings
about the phenomenonicon known as Liz McGrath
or you’ve heard me flappin’ my gums on her behalf.

Well, as it turns out?
I’m not the only effer with a keen eye, honed-ear, & impeccable sense of taste.
See, there’s this gent by the name of Cecil B Feeder—& he’s done gone & made a movie
about little Miss Thing herselfness.  Name’s Bloodbath. You know, as in: ‘Bloodbath McGrath’?

Even if you don’t: just smile, nod, & spot-check this tease of a trailer on out…

While I’ve yet to see the docu-rama drama myself, folks who reside in Nueva York—or
very least, plan on being there this eve—are in luck.

The movie premieres TONIGHT:
Saturday, February 12, 2011
7:30 p.m. at MOMA NYC
Theater 2, T2

as part of the series

“All The Wrong Art : Juxtapoz Magazine On Film”

Among the itinerary:
Legendary X Offender, Debbie Harry, is scheduled to appear—
both to provide an introduction to the film
as well as to participate in a discussion
thereafter

[ & of course, the Bloodiest of Baths will be in attendance;
ditto, director of celebrated
celluloid reliquary ]

However: provided here, now—
a smattering of retinal treats,

a modest sampling of specimen
from this local luminary’s collected body of works
that begs the question: which ‘bodies’ among The Body
were ever actually…bodies…at all?

[ if any ]

E X H I B I T . A

Black Deer sculpture

E X H I B I T . B

Deer House

E X H I B I T . C

Truth Decay diorama

E X H I B I T . D

In The Sweet

E X H I B I T . E

Death By Desire

E X H I B I T . F

Frankie Machine

Said another way: oftentimes these “taxidermied toys,” as they’re referred,
are the cause of great pause/consternation for the artist’s audience:

My assumption is that, despite the hallucinatory realm which these phantasmagories inhabit—
the harrowing “Frankie Machine” [above], for example, in which McGrath’s allegorical depiction of
The Man with the Golden ArmThe Man With The Golden Arm, Nelson Algren renders a dramatic stasis through a potent mix of personal interpretation
and consummate skill—ultimately, it’s a soulful quality about the eyes of
these mythological beings that resonates within the human condition.

A sense of psychological lockjaw.  Addicted. Creatures of habit as much as habitat.

Translation of the Latin text?
“No One Is Free Who Is Enslaved To The Body”

H O W E V E R , E N O U G H !
of my blathering

This is, after all, work that speaks for itself—& rightly so…

For that reason—among countless othersthe Managament hereby deems it imperative
that your library includes a copy of Everything That Creeps : a gorgeous compendium
of Miss McGrath’s work [ through 2005 ].  The book itself is an <i>objet d’art</i>:
with a die-cut hardcover exterior, full-color glossy pages thick as most magazine
covers [ except with sepia stains at the edges, & cute-enough-to-kill doodles
& details scattered throughout ].  Truly, the tome invokes a sense that
one has happened upon some rare, fantastic relic from last century’s
dustbowl era.

I N . W O R D S . N O T . M Y . O W N
[ excerpt of product description ]

“112 pages of full-color photos & detail shots
reveal the exquisitely complex details of [ McGrath’s ] sweetly twisted creatures,
giving a glimpse of what the City of Misfit Toys might have become had it been
saved by Satan rather than Santa.”

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Jeepers Creepers: L.A. Artist Elizabeth McGrath Makes Light Of Our Dark Sides (Archived Article from Frontiers Magazine)

Liz McGrath, Frontiers Magazine

[ CON’T ]

Liz McGrath, Frontiers Magazine