Featuring Matt King (left) and Nichloas Toll (right). Courtesy Meow Wolf, Santa Fe.
Santa Fe is now the permanent home to one of the most ambitious visual art extravaganzas anywhere. The much anticipated launch of the Meow Wolf Art Collective’s The House of Eternal Return was March 18, 2016. The immersive experience includes massive installations, digital and video artworks, a laser harp, vignettes, dioramas and individual artworks.
Meow Wolf started eight years ago as a loose association of Santa Fe artists and performers and over the years has seen 500 artists move in an out of the group. Currently there are over 130 members working together to create an immersive, experiential installation housed in a former bowling alley.
To celebrate the 8th anniversary of the collective, David Richard Gallery hosted a benefit exhibition from February 19-March 5, featuring a selection of paintings, drawings, sculpture, and digital media by several members of the group. Quite a bit of talent was on display, but there were a few standouts, especially the paintings by Matt King. King’s colorful abstractions possess an impressive degree of resolution and confidence. There’s a sureness of hand in the application of color and line and the results really ‘hold the wall.’
Anne Farrell’s tiny iPad video, The Pond, was an unexpected hit at the show. Despite the small scale, there is a richness of depth and fluid movement in the piece – a kinetic collage of drawings, photographs and digital manipulation.
Esteban Bojorquez – sculptor, luthier, surfboard maker (what’s he doing in the desert?) and overall master craftsman – contributed several pieces. The star among them was unquestionably Steel Royale, a fully playable lap steel guitar fashioned from an old jerry can and other shiny bits and pieces. Perfect for an aspiring Nashville rhinestone cowboy.
Particularly noteworthy was the multi-generational makeup of Meow Wolf, with emerging artists fresh out of school working alongside established artists, veterans of many decades and yet-to-be-discovered artists. It demonstrates a true sense of collective spirit and a communal desire to make something really special.
The opening reception on the 19th was heaving, with collectors, artists, and the curious in full attendance. It was an impressive show of local support for the collective’s activities and underscored how dynamic the local arts scene in Santa Fe truly is.
Visit the exhibition page for the press release and to view individual artworks and the installation:
Anne Farrell, The Pond from Island of Pal Diorama, 2016, video
Esteban Bojorquez, The Manta, Electric lap steel guitar brass, 2003, 40 x 13 x 3 inches