Trio: Di Da Do

MiMi Yeh

Of all the shows at the Harbor Art Gallery, this one is my favorite. Upon viewing the show, the room, divided in half by the director’s desk/work area you get the distinct impression of having entered an alchemist’s laboratory.

The left side is filled with twisting, writhing metal sculptures and creations reminiscent of the cover of an H.P. Lovecraft book and a scene out of Beetlejuice. The works, done by Dana Muresan, feature mythical combinations of metal and glass, complete with a hollow, mirror-filled pyramid with a crystal paperweight in the center (known as Reflections) – a dizzying array of glass balls reflected endlessly.

Another notable piece by Muresan is entitled Natural Beauty showing a bronze breastplate seated atop a sinuously curving steel tripod. The spikes upon it belie the gentle, dull sheen of the hollows and planes of the female body bathing it in sinister sensuality.

Take a slow tour past the sphere encased amorphous snakes of steel, past the slithering Anaconda, and you are greeted by the acrylic-covered canvases of Dorothy Arnold, a majority of whose featured work has been created since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Particularly striking is the painting September 11, a miasma of shadowy red and white, fading in and out upon a sea of darkness, mimicking the effects of smoke and fire amidst the backdrop of night. The blue, perhaps, symbolizing the river of tears that will flow once some of the wreckage has been cleared.

Centered upon the wall is a diagonally alternating series is interspersed with figures in motion, dancing and whirling, surrounded by mixed media canvases of erratic design, harmonizing with the chaotic, hurried movements of the subjects. The synchronicity flows smoothly along the plane of the wall until we’re jarred by the tranquility of Jade Dawn, an elongated, rectangular panel of warm yellows and greens, representing a sparsely covered forest.

Finally, we turn to Diana Monroy, whose blurred mix of warm and cool colored paintings show an array of sprites dancing, playing, thinking, chasing one another. Torment at Twilight is a particularly hellish scene of bodies splayed out across the flames, clawing in tortured companionship as they are tormented by the unending heat.

In Lonely Rain, an oil on canvas of cooler tones, the lively beings are now hunched, and sheltered by the inward curvatures of their shoulders, overlapping one another but standing – or sitting as the case may be – alone, nonetheless, evoking the misty, distant sadness of lost loves and memories from the observer.

The theme of the Trio exhibit appears to encompass a little of everything: the eerie aftermath of Halloween coupled with the mysticism of geometrically designed secrets, the abstract meanderings of an exploration of tragedy, and, to top it off, the nostalgia of extremes, swinging between rage and sadness, an interesting mix worth seeing and exploring.