member of:Observers of the Interdependence of Domestic Objects and Their Influence on Everyday Life

This group has been active for a long time and has already made some remarkable assertions which render life simpler from the practical point of view. For example, I move a pot of green color five centimeters to the right, I push in the thumbtack beside the comb and if Mr. A (another adherent like me) at this moment puts his volume about bee-keeping beside a pattern for cutting out vests, I am sure to meet on the sidewalk of the avenida Madero a woman who intrigues me and whose origin and address I never could have known...
--Remedios Varo

(Slideshow is of Artwork by Remedios Varo)
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
--Franz Kafka

Thursday, February 3, 2011

You Have a Song Bird

"You have a Songbird that lives on the back of your head. It sings a song unique to you-- a song that reminds you of what you truly want to do with your life. You cannot see it, but you can hear it. You cannot prove the song to another, but you can feel the vibration of the music. Sometimes the noise from the outside world muffles the song or you play deaf because you are afraid to acknowledge it... And if you get too far off your path the Songbird will turn around and give you a brilliant, tough-love peck... it may even draw blood. It will do what it needs to in order for you to pay attention and remember."
--Martique Lorray

Martique Lorray's artwork is alive, and always reminding you to be. There is a primitive sense to the creatures and images that's melded impeccably with a carefully-studied technique. The above songbird is painted on wood, and the bird seems to swirl out of a knot and into the woman's face. If I had looked closely enough at the bare wood, before Martique had painted onto it, could I have already seen this bird and this woman forming into each other?

"The Leaper is the courageous element jumping into the unknown. The Leaper lives in the forest. All of its senses are heightened--the ears are up, the eyes are wide, the body is extended. It is being led by its white, innocent hands, which will always navigate the Leaper through the darkness of the forest to its destination."

The Trickster-- A creature that makes you look twice, that teases you, that makes you think about what you saw, what you are seeing, what is real. Here, the horse looks twice at you...
All of the above images are from Martique Lorray's portfolio entitled "Sexy Beast," which can be found among other portfolios on her website.

(Owl Eye, by Martique Lorray)

She creates something you haven't seen before, but something you recognize. Magic. And so it makes sense that amongst her paintings you would find this one, called Isis and Osiris.

Isis is a goddess of magic, "the matron of nature and magic" (Wikipedia). In fact, in the ancient Egyptian stories, she was able to use her magic to bring together the scattered bones of her murdered husband Osiris and breathe life back into them. This death and rebirth was ritualistically recreated every year in pre-Christian times, and her tears at his death were believed to be the reason for the seasonal flooding of the Nile. This story resonates still today, with the awful violence of "civilization" tearing us (one) into pieces and scattering the severed, wounded pieces far and wide across the world. Artists, writers, dancers, creators: these people put us back together, breathe life into us, and paint new doors in the walls for us to walk through into new worlds. Here, the two are nesting birds, symbols of transformation, transcendence....nesting in a verdant, fertile green...

Her newest portfolio, "The Weight Lifters," will be unveiled tomorrow night (February 4, 2011) at 6 at the Lark and Key Gallery (Southend) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her oil paintings will be up until March 26th. She says of this new series: "When life gets hard, or heavy, that's when she sends them--the Weight Lifters. They can't solve, but they can relieve some of the burden for a time. They can't be seen, but they're close. When we sigh, that's a signal that they've attached. Pay attention. You can feel it. We don't realize how much there is to soothe."

This is art at its finest: somehow both primal and studied, and always leading the viewer to the best of him/herself.


  1. I love these too much to say! Thanks so much for posting about these paintings, Zoe!! I am going to have to do everything I can not to spend any more daylight looking around online so I can get some things done myself... but it will be a very big struggle now.

  2. inquiétant et beau à la fois..

  3. Excellent post, zoe!
    I love all those artworks by Martique Lorray, especially her "Songbird" and "Osiris and Isis"! Don't you think her "Osiris" looks like a heron? or his head represents the Bennu bird?
    I'm very curious about it.

  4. According to Egyptian myth, the Bennu bird burst forth either from the flames of a holy tree, like the Phoenix, OR from the heart of Osiris. For either reason, the bird is associated with resurrection, and so also the Nile's annual rising. According to Wikipedia, it "was pictured as a grey, purple, blue, or white heron with a long beak and a two-feathered crest."
    So, Sapphire--
    it looks like this is indeed a Bennu bird, and thanks to you two, I now have a new bird to obsess over! Thanks! :D