Color filled the room Friday night at Martha Otero Gallery for Jen Stark's first solo exhibition, “To the Power of”. Spurs of color that seemed to protrude from the walls of the gallery, immediately drew in all walks of life. A collection of paintings and 3D compositions, rendered in spectrums of brightly colored patterns, intensely lit up the room and invited crowds to closely analyze Stark's precise talent. Known for her intricately warped color spectrum forms, cut from paper and wood, Jen Stark’s signature has brought about a higher level of artistry. Every piece in this collection teases the eyes with its attractive color scheme and then lures the viewer with a sensual play of movement. This said, color was not the only life of the party, but also the sharp geometric forms cut from paper creating complex layers needed to be looked at from all angles. The set-up of the exhibit not only enhances how much of an optical treat this show is, but also adds to the interactive experience that takes you from one sublime spectacle to the next.
Gravitational Pull, Whole, Psychedelic State, Prismatic Radiation, and Cosmic Distortion are some of the names pertaining to Stark's pieces. The power of color is evident in artworks such as Gravitational Pull and Psychedelic State; here the intention is to feel the dragging motion and a state of chaos. Psychedelic Stateis one of many powerful pieces where if looked at long enough, the chaotic movement suddenly translates into a personal exclamation of "where is my mind?", and thanks to the Pixies, "its way out in the water" within colorful uneven waves, oozing off the surface. Stark’s spiritual inspiration is also quite beautifully interpreted. Prismatic Radiation is the rare piece that is pure white other than the colorful halo beaming religiously behind it. Its composition resembles that of a rose window one might encounter entering a Gothic cathedral.Cosmic Distortion and Whole are renderings that touch on time and space; within these an end does not exist, rather, they're a symbol of the vulnerability to want to escape into other-worldly realms. Also belonging to this unbelievable collection are exquisite miniatures that speak louder than their actual size. What Jen Stark's show does is give power to everything necessary to produce this incredible outcome. It is now up to viewers to personally experience its intense presence.
Words and photos by Jessica Portillo