Meagan Magpie Rodgers, “Solace”
October 24th – November 28th, 2020
Northport, NY– Haven Gallery is pleased to present Tennessee based artist, Meagan Magpie Rodgers for her first solo show at the gallery, “Solace”. “Solace” is comprised of seven paintings and two drawings that feature the artists beautiful and surreal portraits of females, many of which are based off of herself, and painted without their jaws. Rodgers work is surrealistically symbolic and highly emotive with strong tethers to representing the human condition. Her portraits embrace some of the most powerful human emotions including love, loss and anxiety. The lack of jaws found on her sitters and own self portraits are a stylistic choice that subconsciously convey the artists own shy qualities. Despite the inability to verbalize, each woman expresses herself elegantly through her use of body language and facial expression. A nod to the artists own use of art as a form of communication when words cannot be expressed.
“Solace” is also characterized by Rodger’s use of western imagery to represent a longing for her hometown in Southern California. Cacti, poppies and desertscapes characterize this particular body of work and not only capture the artists sense of yearning to return to her original hearth but also represents the prevalent isolation faced by humans in recent times. Still, despite the quiet land and inarticulate women, Meagan’s work teems with life and connection. Whether it is her strong sense of emotion or the exceptional strokes of her medium, bristling with ardor, her sitters evoke and provoke their viewer. Rodger’s work in “Solace” are a beautiful and heartfelt reminder of the passionate feelings and various roads of personal expression that can often weigh heavier than words alone.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Meagan “Magpie” Rodgers is from Riverside, California. She was born into an artistic family and was always encouraged and inspired to create by them, especially by her older brother. At 15, Meagan met her now- husband in her first art class who has also helped and inspired her over the years with his artistic abilities. For as long as she can remember, she’s wanted to be an “artist”. Meagan continued her art training throughout high school and took a few courses at Riverside Community College. While studying at RCC, Meagan’s art professor Jeff Soto made the most impact having taught her many of the lessons and techniques she still uses today. She’s dabbled in many mediums throughout her life, but found her niche in surrealism with acrylic paint and graphite. Since high school, Meagan’s work has been geared in a dark direction and was usually inspired by objects and animals. After the loss of her older brother, Meagan’s life and artwork changed drastically. Her work went into a more serious/heartfelt direction, and she moved with her family to Chattanooga, TN for a new chapter. Meagan continues to create out of her home studio where she resides with her husband and Chihuahua, Papi.
In my work, I try to materialize nonphysical concepts such as paranormal entities, mental illness, love and loss. I usually paint and draw women because I find them to be interesting subjects and typically the best vessel for communicating what I’m trying to get across in my work. I often use my likeness not only for convenience sake, but also because it seems the most authentic when it comes to putting what I feel on paper or canvas. I find myself inspired by moody and/or desolate settings and I often portray subjects nude or in underwear/sleepwear to express vulnerability and make the viewer feel as if they’re looking into a private or intimate moment. I love vintage clothes and try to incorporate those into my work as well. The lack of jaw on my subjects was originally a style choice, but I now feel it accurately reflects the shy person that I am, and how I have an easier time expressing myself through art than I do verbally.
Artist Statement on “Solace”:
This body of work has been well over a year in the making, and has allowed me to create through a multitude of seasons in my life. It embodies the feelings and the challenges I faced mentally, especially after COVID began. In this show you’ll see repeating western imagery and golden poppies, which are inspired by my home place of Southern California. I’ve been feeling very homesick having not been able to visit for a long time, which really came through in these pieces. I think the desert and other desolate settings portrayed also capture the loneliness that I, like so many others have felt this year. I thought “Solace” was a fitting name for this show, since I express both dark times and healing in all of the work I’ve created for it. I believe that word also envelopes the year well for the same reasons, and I hope those who view these pieces can find solace in doing so.