Occasionally, there’s something to be said for thinking inside the box. Mixed-media artist Marcee Blackerby has found the constrictions of the rectangular shape somehow freeing, as the contents of her art boxes could be almost anything, from miniature discoveries at an antique store to roadside detritus. The medium is also liberating to Blackerby because it allows her an extra dimension to work in—depth—unlike a two-dimensional painting.
“I’m constantly watching for objects with memory or spark,” she explains. “The strange and disconnected are the stuff of my creations. I often choose a box to contain disparate items, drawing them together in a composition—sometimes humorous, sometimes dark.” These boxes encompass everything from dolls to devils, rusted coins or crescent moons (“Lost & Found” is pictured), distant temporally as well as geographically. They’re like a door into another country embedded in our own, and no less real.
The contents are never too busy, whimsical or egregious, as the humor inherent in the diminutive is tempered by a sense of the sinister. These icons of isolation seem about to spring into being before you, awakened by your voyeuristic gaze. This adds a strange element of narrative, as though, instead of the frozen moment in time of a painting or photograph, the art becomes something akin to a room you’ve intruded upon, or a stage with actors set to spin off into their roles in a story both grotesque and elegantly quaint.
Marcee Blackerby Mixed Media @ Finch Lane Gallery, 54 Finch Lane, 801- 596- 5000, through April 10.