Beckstrom has worked in multimedia, mainly, and started painting seriously a few years ago. Fluff, her exhibition, proves just how far she's come.
It began when she started painting stuffed animal faces for last year's holiday show at the Modbo. She then completed five stuffed animal-Greek myth works for a March show she shared with Brett Andrus and Nina Peterson (fellow members of the Modbo Collective) at the Eggman & Walrus gallery in Santa Fe.
But Beckstrom soon wanted to return to the human figure in her painting:
“Oh, and then after Santa Fe, I was like, ‘I miss painting the figure, so what’s next?’ And Brett and I were in Santa Fe and I’m walking across the street and suddenly I’m like, ‘Holy shit, I can combine them! I can combine the two ideas. I can meld the figure with the softness and creepy-sweetness of the stuffed animals.' So I got with Zeezos, they were awesome, I got a trade for costumes and I started doing photo shoots with the rabbit heads."
The shift perfectly suited her personality. "I love images of people sitting around eating, but somehow I turn it into a really damn creepy painting," she says. "There’s just a creepiness and a sweetness to it, and people have a lot of different connotations with seeing people in animal suits.”
She wants to continue working with the rabbit heads, just with more (likely, nude) people in the paintings. Interestingly, Beckstrom's style changes slightly in her exhibition, which includes works done months ago, and some that were just finished, like this one, which has a more graphic, unfinished quality:
Here are some other pieces you'll find at the show:
And lastly, this work from the stuffed animal series, which Beckstrom admits, gets to her.
“I’ve cried standing in front of that painting," she says. "I cry at my paintings a lot.”
Not to be overlooked, Fluff will open with a solo show by Clive Nyles in the Modbo. Nyles, originally from England, studied at the Savannah College of Art in Design. The Modbo describes his work this way:
"Nyles’ recent compositions utilize chiaroscuro value patterns along with geometric patterning to create subject (sic) emerging from light or subject being engulfed by darkness."
For more information on Nyles, click here.