Some artists create art as a way of self-reflection. The process becomes a pursuit of creative fulfillment. Atlanta-based artist Corrina Sephora sees her work as a reflection of life experiences. In Between the Deep Blue Sea and the Universe, at Mason Fine Art through February 16, Sephora shares 19 recent works that vary in medium but are cohesive in theme.
The gallery’s back room is sectioned off by a sheer white cloth hanging over the entryway. The facing wall holds the exhibition’s focal installation — Celestial Bodies (2018), featuring 60-plus paintings in a range of sizes. Customized steel loops frame painted wood panels. These paintings stretch across the back wall, floor and a perpendicular wall. A layered mixture of acrylic, pigment, spray paint and metal dust build up the decorative surface.
The imagery couldn’t be further from Carravagio’s Medusa (1596), but like Medusa, round edges are a defining component. Synthetic hues of purple and blue contrast with blackened burned marks, highlighting the wood’s texture. The shimmer of the metal dust and the splattered paint application are wholly astronomic.
There’s a subtle nod to a boat metaphor throughout Sephora’s work, and the selected pieces depict abstracted images of the sea and stars. Celestial navigation is an inspiration as well as a guide to maneuvering the show. Lunar cycles are referenced through repeated spherical forms.
Whether a two-dimensional painting or a three-dimensional sculpture, Sephora’s work is attuned to depth. Ambrosial Ascension (2018) straddles disciplines with a copper ladder perched against the panel. The sculpture’s base is fixed on the gallery floor while the ladder and its shadow invite viewers into the painted plane with a visual gesture toward a shimmering sphere in the painting’s top right corner.
A second ladder sculpture is placed on the opposite side of the room. Ethereal (2018) demonstrates a spatial awareness confined by the bordering white wall. It’s the only work here without painted elements. Instead, copper and steel flowers detail the wall and floor space surrounding the ladder. As the eye moves upward from the floor, the decreasing size of the flowers creates perspective.
Each ladder rung is perched at a slight angle so that the object’s form is elevated over its function. An uncanny sense arises from observing such a familiar object from a distance. Sephora created this piece while contemplating death and spirituality after her mother passed away. With this in mind, Ethereal remains resolute as a visual metaphor for transcendence.
This exhibition creates an otherworldly landscape for viewers to inhabit. Organic lines and forms are the thread that unites each work. Sephora’s technical aptitude with metalwork is seen alongside experiments with new painting materials. The narrative informing each piece is inspirational for the artist; the abstracted imagery connects us with more universal and human experiences.