Amanda Beckmann Follows Sold-Out Bermudez Projects Show with New Exhibit: "Hasten Slowly"
She wakes up at 5 every morning, climbs the stairs to her mother's attic, puts on Martin Denny's "Exotica" album, and gets out the sharp scissors. No, it's not the first scene of a new Tim Burton movie; it's the start of every day for artist Amanda Beckmann, who opens her new collection, "Hasten Slowly," at Bermudez Projects April 7.
Beckmann was born in 1965 in Bayshore, Long Island, to a fisherman and his wife who would crank "Dark Side of the Moon," light up a joint, and set their kids free with crayons and paper. Grandpa worked at Grumman Aerospace and brought home scrap paper from the office, so, Beckmann says, "We were probably drawing on the back of spaceship designs."
Beckmann's father is her favorite philosopher, she says. "He preferred talk with 5 year olds because, he'd say, they haven't been f'd up by adults yet." When her dad wasn't clamming, he worked the eel pots and lobster traps he built, and Amanda and her sister and brothers had free rein in the fully equipped workshop with its wood bender, table saw, and nail guns. Beckmann still has all her fingers, but she also has a strong memory of the things her sister Danielle taught her to make ... Plywood squares layered with cut-outs from the magazines their folks brought home. "Those collages were the corniest things ever," she says, but they lodged in the back of her mind, to emerge about ten years ago when Beckmann returned to art while running a design firm in Portland, Oregon. Then, bugs and flowers were her focus, and the impetus for her signature tear-shaped petal, which now dance through her pieces.
In the new show's title piece, "Hasten Slowly," petals sprout energetically across the plywood like Terry Gilliam's "Monty Python" animations. The petals morph into bisected ovals in "The Long and Short of It," arrayed along three vertical lines like some sort of geological core sample ... if the drill were sunk into a pile of fashion magazines. The petals reappear in the lovely "Paris," which somehow manages to conjure Turn of the (20th) Century decorative arts and "Samurai Jack," Genndy Tartakovsky's pop art animé series.
Beckmann's previous show at Bermudez Projects sold out in a few days; ironic considering its title, "Failure is an Option," which referred to Beckmann's realization that she had to ignore her anal instincts and take a few risks. "Hasten Slowly" is about Beckmann becoming more comfortable with the artistic process. "I can do a spreadsheet better and faster than anybody. But with art I've learned I have to just let it happen. I'm learning to be patient."
Bermudez Projects is at 117 W. 9th Street, Space 810, Los Angeles, California 90015. By appointment only. For more information visit www.julian-bermudez.com
The mission of Julian Bermudez is to discover and cultivate emerging artists, inspire creativity and imagination, and promote the appreciation of art by presenting art outside museums and galleries.