Deconstructing Beauty: Christina Chalmers

6 Oct

As you probably noticed during the recent artsyF A S H I O N Week, I have a keen interest in the gray areas where art and fashion collide.  What we wear and it’s design is such an integrated part of our culture and psyche that it is no surprise that clothes influence art and vice versa.

A Magical Life, steel mesh, plaster, oil and mixed media, 56x30x30

Often in art, clothing is used as a symbol, as a vehicle for deeper thought.  This is especially true in the work of New Mexico artist Christina Chalmers.  Her sculptures and mixed media pieces are, in her own words, contemplations on the “cloaking and revealing of the inner self”.

Acquaintance of Kelp Forests, kelp, driftwood, vintage silk and lace, 56x41x41

Through her use of organic and weathered found materials, we see an interconnectedness with who we truly are and the self we are projecting out to the world via our appearance.

The Fleeting Things of Time No. 4, mixed media, copper and oil on panel, 60x48

Sea Dress II, kelp, shells and steel mesh, 34x25x9

In her sculptures especially, I see this connection between the deconstructed, feminine garments and the found and organic materials that is incredibly intriguing.  The texture and patina of the materials are such a striking juxtaposition between the ladylike flowing shape– powerful in their vulnerability.  Just like us as women.

What do you think of these?  Do you see what I’m seeing or have a different perspective to share?

To see more of Christina Chalmers’ work, visit her page on the Selby Fleetwood Gallery website.  If you’re in Santa Fe, you can see her work in person at the gallery.  It will definitely be on my list when I finally get to Santa Fe!

Featured image is I am the Root, the Wind and the Bird ( detail ) by Christina Chalmers, mixed media on panel.

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