Erika Jane Mallette in a promising artist from Autstin. This Saturday, she participates in a group exhibition in L.A. She has met us and answered a couple of questions.
I’ve discovered this artist from Austin, Texas last week, when we received a note from The Hive Gallery and Studios in L.A. They open their exhibition “The Dirty Desert”, a collection of artists from Arizona and she is there. We can enjoy her art and her evocative figures plenty of contrasts, suggestions and, of course, these drops of evil we love.
The world of Erika Jane Mallette is as creative as abject, as ‘gothic’ (the new tendency, don’t confuse with the Gothic in the Middle Years) as fantastic, surrealistic and imaginative. We can watch her painting about Poe and feel the soul, the legend and the fantasy of this writer looking at us surrounded by three cats, seated in an elegant chair, wearing his gentleman’s old fashioned suit.
The world of Erika Jane Mallette has continuous references to the cinema, the literature and, even, the comics and the T.V. If we investigate deeper in this artist’s paintings we can find portraits so different that includes Alf (I loved those series when I was a child) or even a Monster of Frankenstein very particular.
The legacy of pop-art is there, clearly reflected in her fine brushstrokes, her constant contrasts between the real world and the fantasy mirror that reflects the real sense of this dreaming we are living now. Through this mirror full of atmosphere and colors, we can feel the mix between the childhood and the fear, this strange sensation that comes when a little adorable girl fixes her sight on us. Something is going to happen, something terrible, something great, maybe something bad… there’s something like a promise in those faces painted by E.J. Mallette. Our mission is, at the end, trying to recognize the essence of this promise in the lines.
We’ve contact Erika Jane Mallette and, more than an artist she is a good person, even to meet us and answer this little interview.
Hi, Erika. First of all, we are proud to include you in YM. We’ve honored. I have two fast questions, just two. Where do you find your inspiration?
I guess the best place is just the things I love, and have always loved, so I love monsters, humor, animals, I dont know really!
When did you begin painting?
Well, I did a few paintings on some pieces of cardboard when I was a kid, then I didn’t try painting again until about 2005. I did a couple that year, some turned out good and some were downright hideous. Painting is very addictive. I started pursuing it more aggressively in 2008.
We can see a mix between dreams and reality in your paintings, a weird mix that makes us escape from the oil and go to a dream. What do you want to express with your paintings?
I mostly do the paintings for selfish reasons I guess, I paint things that matter to me, and hope that there are others that it will mean something to as well. Like with the Poe piece, I wanted to show him in his fancy chair and include his love of cats, and alcohol, and the book on the table says Byron on the side, since he was a fan of Lord Byron, and then I added him dunking a donut for humor, so I wanted to create a dark painting honoring Poe and adding a splash of satire, but without the raven since that is the go too for Poe
I didn’t want to be too cliché.
If you would have to describe your works, how would you do?
Ohhh lordy! Describing my work is something that I’m not good at. Im self taught so I don’t know fancy art terms either. When people ask me what my work looks like, I say some of my paintings are dark but colorful, almost cartoony but not full-fledged cartoony, and I like to give my subjects their shining moment, at least in my eyes.
Really thanks and good luck with the exhibition, Erika.
If you interested, you can visit Erika’s FB profile (https://www.facebook.com/erikajane82 ). You will find it very interesting.
We just want to wish all the best to Erika. Continue painting, continue creating, continue dreaming,
Editor of Yareah Magazine and dreamer.
You can see Erik Siador’s review by Isabel del Rio, showing at the Hive gallery too.