The Shape of Hope: Batia Lowenberg Dares to Find a Happy Ending
“Art can be a form of worship, play, labor, dancing, freedom, fooling around, and serious pursuit all rolled into one,” says Batia Lowenberg in an interview with Art Mami.
Based in Florida and currently a resident at Zero Empty Spaces, Batia creates abstract, carnivalesque paintings inspired by an “urban-tropical-cosmic” aesthetic, a self-created style that “attempts to bring opposing difficult realities together.” Batia’s poetic description of her work is just as colorful and chaotic as the paintings themselves: “As an artist-activator, my function is to release energized images which visually turn up the heat where surface skins, shards of story, and ineffable glory collide […] in developing an urban-tropical-abstract language, the work incorporates a street art approach with a percussive touch.”
Big Pop, Batia’s most recent body of work, sees the prolific artist continue her deep dive into the nature of duality. Although her work is typically nonrepresentational, Batia had numerous narratives in mind when creating the oversized shapes appearing throughout Big Pop. “Shards of narrative emerge from an abstract language of bold color, fresh shapes, non-verbal cultural references, and a street art immediacy of mark making and line work,” she explains. “Multiple stories, sometimes difficult ones, appear almost familiar yet hold a sense of mystery and completeness as I ‘scratch’ at a larger existential meaning for what is happening around us,” she explains.
With a “whole body” approach to painting, Batia uses a range of materials and techniques to achieve her signature urban-tropical-cosmic style. Layer upon layer of bright marker, flat acrylic shapes, and dripping house paint create a visual playground worth a few spins on the merry-go-round.
Tackling everything from military invasions and the refugee crisis to personal safety and the future of freedom, Batia’s freewheeling work floats like a red balloon in a gray, war-torn world. She notes, “I attempt to wrestle down the tragedy and trauma of this world in a search for a buoyant hopefulness of presence and happier endings.”
New Book By Katie Love
From Cult To Comedy, A Memoir, by Katie Love
The year is 1970. The horror soap opera “Dark Shadows” is all the rage, the Vietnam War is raging and nine-year-old Katie, an imaginative and independent latch-key kid, comes home from school to discover her mother’s suicide.
Taken in by her older sister who has recently become a Jehovah’s Witness, Katie is shown an illustration from a bible picture book featuring wild animals peacefully lounging by a pool of water, surrounded by happy people picking fruit. An enticing offer is made: “Katie, this is Paradise. Do you want to see Mom again, happy and living forever? All you have to do is follow all of Jehovah’s commandments and you can be with Mom again.”
Mom happy and living forever? Two tickets to Paradise, please!
So begins Katie’s zealous quest to attain perfection and entrance into a utopian world which promises peace, love, and happiness. She discovers a much darker world. “Two Tickets to Paradise, from Cult to Comedy” tells the hilarious and heartbreaking story of an earnest, bible-toting kid intent on saving the world, and follows her metamorphosis into a boisterous comedian intent on saving herself through the healing powers of humor.
“Art can be a form of worship, play, labor, dancing, freedom, fooling around, and serious pursuit all rolled into one.” — Batia Lowenberg
Batia Lowenberg: Website | Instagram
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
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