San Francisco-based ‘artist, model and sci-fi addict,’ Charmaine Olivia opened Ritual last month at SF’s Shooting Gallery.
In her first ever solo show in San Francisco, Ritual explores the themes of magic and earth energies within a series of imagined females from a mythology of the artist’s own creation. The gallery will be transformed into a temple of altars for each of Olivia’s demigods; each surrounded by installations of magical items, and other smaller artworks that pay homage to the central female.
As with the playground transformation of the Skewville show next door, Ritual found Charmaine Olivia transforming the traditional gallery space into a series of altars. The artist installed an assemblage of old bottles, religious artifacts, candles and bones around her part fantasy/part realistic oil paintings. While the ‘found object shrines’ provided another layer of context and depth to the Ritual show overall, on a piece by piece basis, occasionally the altars felt a bit distracting. As in: “Check out those great bottles/antlers/skulls! Can I buy them?” I understand the need to offset the starkness of the gallery, but I want to mention that the paintings are beautiful and captivating on their own.
Ritual closed this week, but I took a bunch of photos (click through). You can also check out shots of Charmaine Olivia in her studio (painting among her object collections) here and purchase a limited edition poster for the show directly from the artist here.