Dorothy Circus Gallery is proud to present "Stra Volti", a new and exclusive solo exhibition by Marion Peck, one of the most recognized and sought for artists among pop surrealism worldwide. After more than ten years, Marion Peck returns to Rome to exhibit a series of 11 highly original oil paintings on canvas, deeply inspired by the European art and cultural tradition. In this occasion, DCG will also feature the work The Actors, a masterpiece that celebrates the classical Greco-Roman culture, investigating both the symbolic and the psycho-logical aspects of the historical and metaphorical figure of the actor. Following the success of Pages From Mind Travellers Diaries at DCG in London, which included three master-pieces of theMarion Peck's oeuvre, the artist, who continuously researches new inspiration, opens new doors of her mind with this unique exhibition, marking an unprecedented stage of her artistic career.
Influenced by the art of Picasso, theCubist experimentation and the interpretation of perspective plans through modern art, Marion Peck produces a selection of surreal portraits where an excellent classical pictorial technique is combined with modernity. Characters of different ages, belonging to multiple periods, are represented on a neutral background, without any indication of their social identities and their past. Infact, the painted subjects seem to emerge from the paintings from a timeless, mysterious and fascinating space.The figures reside at the border between past, present and future in a philosophical denial of time, which dissolves a typically Hegelian conception of history as progress to replace it with a conception of non-linear time and culture.
Each portrait is executed to perfection in a Renaissance manner and the clothing of the protagonists themselves makes direct reference to past eras that, in some way, revive in Peck's works. But these paintings are not relegated to the past; on the contrary, they are deeply related to relevant contemporary themes and fundamental psychological theories. As it can be seen from the references to the art of Picasso, as well as to the distorted portraits of Francis Bacon, Marion Peck soberly analyses the psychology of her characters, thus inducing viewers to do the same.
The pictorial approach of Marion Peck is infact strongly psychological. The strange faces of Peck open onto a perception-less dimension bringing to light the fragility and insecurity that artists from an induced perceptual alteration.Gently holding our subconscious, the artist breaks down and recomposes her characters, distorting their beauty to give life to a new reading of the same faces. Through the use of a sublime pictorial technique that adorns the strangest and most contort-ed forms, Peck manages to highlight the elegance and perfection of her exaggerated faces, which we learn to observe from many points of view. Another “Ego” emerges from this strange beauty, freed from the fears of self acceptance , capable of self irony in strong contrast with the etiquette of a social system that tends to the homologation of the personality.
The artist's important statement on re-defying beauty rises upon this analysis, which takes into account a historical contemporary time in which physical appearance reigns. While we live the disturbing phenomenon of showcasing our portrait every day, following the standards of the mask that forces us to imposed aesthetic canons, in an exaggerated tendency to embellishment(either surgically or virtually), the portraits of Marion Peck demonstrate how strangeness and the particularity may manifest themselves among the purest forms of beauty. In this way, Peck points her finger to criticize a remarkably contemporary collective malaise and fear of weirdos as a dangerous denial of uniqueness.
Are you lost in the world like me? If the systems have failed? are you free?
Marion Peck was born in Manila, Philippines, in 1963, while her family was on a trip around the world. She grew up in Seattle, Washington, and currently lives in Portland with her husband Mark Ryden, renowned King of Pop Surrealism movement who she married in the woods of the Pacific Northwest rain forest. Her childhood was full of artistic support and creativity, and when she got a bit older, Marion Peck decided to enrollin The Rhode Island School of Design in 1985, where she received a BFA. Subsequently, she studied in two different MFA programs, Syracuse University in New York and Temple University in Rome. While she was in Italy, she had the possibility to absorb its traditional art, typical landscapes, food, and atmosphere.
This was a key moment in her artistic career since it was in Italy that Peck thought about her high aspiration of a painter to reach the masterful level of technique and skill achieved by Italian masters of the 16th and 17th centuries.Later on, she incorporated all the knowledge and teachings she had learned from those masters into a fresher, more contemporary style, and found what she defines a combination of Pop Art and Surrealism. Peck became known for her magnificent artworks in the contemporary field of figurative art called Pop Surrealism and has exhibited her work all over the world. Marion Peck’s art, coming out of a perfect oil technique and a bright palette, takes us into a wonderful world full of solitude and detachment that is simultaneously sweet and absurd.Her compositions are characteristically cartoonish and the style she uses is promptly recognizable, focusing on a specific sense of humour, which ranges from joyous to quite sarcastic while depicting unusual subjects in a way that resembles a dream’s vision.
Challenge is a key word in Peck’s compositions that are usually presented as an official artist statement regarding contemporary political, cultural issues and social icons. These lattera returned into surreal parodies, ironic images that distort reality and reduce it to mere farce. Peck’s artwork does have many elements, such as the narrative component, which recall the Italian Renaissance pictures surrounding her during college time. They all have a specific story to display. The dreamlike scheme can be attributed to Surreal-ism, but all her subjects and the way they are depicted can be defined as pure Pop art. Peck’s artworks are full of fantasy, outlandish landscapes inhabited by circus creatures, furry characters with big, puppy eyes.When asked to describe the story behind some of her pieces, Marion responded:“If there is a narrative to emerge from my paintings, I hope it would be just like a very short poem”. Her art pieces are filled to the brim with memorable characters drawn by the stream of dreams; Peck’s subjects are full of life, sometimes simply adorable, soft or extremely funny.
Marion Peck has exhibited her work all around the world both in galleries and museums such as:“Art from the New World”at the Bristol City Museum, “Hey! Modern art and Pop Culture”at the Musée de laHalleSt Pierre in Paris, France, “Pop Surrealism,” held at the Museum of Visual Arts Palazzo Collicola in Spoleto, Italy during the“Festival dei Due Mondi”, “Turn the Page”atThe Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and“CrossThe Streets” held at MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, Italy in 2017. Her work has also been used for album covers, such as Waking the Mystics by Portland art rock group Sophe Lux. Among her major publications, there are I Cari Estinti Exhibition Catalog (2006), Paintings by Marion Peck (2003), Sweet Wishes (2008), Animal Love Summer (2010), Lamb Land(2016).