Edie Beaucage’s art is a celebration of contemporary possibilities. Her interest is in figures who rise above the conventions of their moment, who express a fierce and incandescent individualism that imprints the viewer with the possibilities inherent in a fully realized personality.
Her process involves gathering images and arranging storyboards from a broad array of sources ranging from Venice street life to Dutch Realism to the contemporary art scene. What emerges are startling a-historical reminiscences which capture visual and formal through lines from over three centuries of bohemian resistance to cultural hegemony.
Careful habits of art historical observation, readership, and a lifetime of intense observation take shape in her seemingly spontaneous style of painting. Her process is uninterrupted and immediate in a manner reminiscent of the Ukio-e traditions in Japanese painting. She styles long, congruous, and sequacious series of brush-strokes, confident in the momentary expression of a truth that is based upon hours of premeditation and reflection.
In an era of mass-media thought coercion, Edie’s work is committed to the preservation of intellectual and spiritual independence. She invests her seemingly whimsical subjects with genuine purpose, presence, and the intense assuredness of self-realization. Her vibrant a-historical portraiture of moments and her whimsical characters alert the viewer to the urgent need to develop, express and celebrate the saving force of indelible personality.
Statement for each Exhibition:
Site Specific Public Art Project, Harbor Park Garage, Baltimore, April 2019 (on going)
Look 70 feet up and 29 feet across—Edie Beaucage’s site-specific public art project is boldly suspended on the façade of the Harbor Park Garage located adjacent to the inner harbor of Baltimore. For the inaugural project of what will be a rotating exhibition space, Los Angeles-based painter Beaucage draws from her world of characters that populate non-linear narratives and fantastical spaces as they move through acts of work, passion, romance, and leisure. This vinyl translation of a composite trio of Beaucage’s paintings presents light and friendly characters who are casual and good-looking beacons of camaraderie and openness—a gigantic invitation for the citizens of Baltimore to enjoy being out and about in their town.
Created with large expressive brushstrokes, the figures are attired in bright yellow and magenta, stylish hoodies, pants, and boots—Beaucage’s characters function as shorthand for a range of philosophical concepts that undergird the artist’s production strategies. Drawing inspiration from Jacques Derrida’s “presence,” and Edward Titchener’s "empathy,” Beaucage creates congenial and approachable characters who stand alone and also interact with each other. Beaucage borrows from psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s notion of humans as "ultra-social" beings able to live in very large cooperative groups as they individually struggle with the ways they are perceived by each other.
This installation reflects Beaucage’s recurring interest for social connections in active city crowds. These new characters are musicians, DJs, dancers—some are even related to previous personalities from Beaucage’s past bodies of work. This time new names for the characters will come from Baltimoreans, since next month will begin a contest to win special prizes at the Harbor Front Parking Garage by naming this friendly trio. Art lives everywhere in Baltimore!
I've got a good mind to give up living and go shopping instead,
Group exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles featuring works by Jim Adams, Edie Beaucage, Kate Bonner, Liz Collins, Caitlin Cherry, Hugo Crosthwaite, Zackary Drucker & Rhys Ernst, Dennis Koch, Margie Livingston, Erik Olson, Josh Reames, Alexandria Smith, and Peter Williams. July to August 2019
I've got a good mind to give up living and go shopping instead takes its name from the 1968 blues song by B.B. King, which deals with the heartbreak that comes from a broken relationship, that moment of surprise and shock and of finality.
I read your letter this morning that was in your place in bed
And that's when I decided that I would be better off dead.
The sentiment begins as an irreverent proclamation but turns darker as King reveals he would be shopping "to pick up me a tombstone and be pronounced dead." Desperation, of course, has a way of distorting things and making them appear in extreme terms, yet the reality is often quite different. The artists in this exhibition explore ideas about relationships that aren't necessarily what they appear to be. Where does the line between truth and reality lie? Interpretation, much like break-ups, can be a constantly negotiated battle between parties. Some things can be read one way and understood in a completely different manner, or perhaps the fluidity of a thing—gender, for example—makes expansive truths and multiple realities possible. Interpretations that seem to embody opposing or contradictory positions often inspire a level of empathy, communication, and creativity that may transform a situation, making it ultimately more relatable and moving.
Fast Reverse Polychromatic Liquid Lines Modulator (FRPLLM)
Toronto Art Fair 2017, Solo show within a group show, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Canada
Los Angeles-based Edie Beaucage created a series of paintings specifically for the Toronto Art Fair. In Fast Reverse Polychromatic Liquid Lines Modulator Beaucage's characters enact relationships exclusively "via" technology. In the painting You know Dax Too? (2017) we find three mustached men chatting on FaceTime; in What's Ur Snap (2017) a group of friends in the woods exchange Snap Chat information; in Scotch and Sofa (2017) a
computer streaming Netflix is set on a living room table beside a pair
of boots for movie night at home.
Beaucage’s characters act out our
lives today and her paintings feel as if we where looking through a pair
of quantum-multicolor-night-vision-goggles. Dark impasto grounds
support amalgams of fine strings of paint that pile up to create images.
Akin to an analog 3D printer, these tangles of paint strings are
extruded from syringes to make fancy pants, funky boots, background
horses, inhabited cell phones, pink rocks, and pale blue trees, in
keeping with Beaucage signature affective paint style: bouyant,
confident, and vibrating with social energy.
Sequencer-Spectrum-Reverb 2016, Solo Exhibition, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
...A techno music festival, surrounded by pulsing music and flashing strobe lights. Piper is trying to figure out who the guy running by in front of her is and suddenly realizes it's Dax, from Berlin. He's the producer of the show and he's with that girl from Iceland, Svava. Why is he hanging out with her?
Transposing the idea of surround sound to the visual realm, Beaucage's new paintings introduce us to a music production crew: American, British, and German electronic musicians and producers, along with ravers, party goers, and vap smokers. The exhibition consists of portraits on paper -- head and shoulders shots and figures in landscapes. Are these presumed impostors, pseudo portraits or counterfeit eccentrics?
Beaucage's loosely painted characters straddle representation and abstraction and oscillate between sincerity and parody. Specks, drips and drops of paint animate hoodies, long coats, eyes, hair and mustaches. Large expressive brushstrokes aroused by carbon black and phtalo turquoise energize the atmosphere. Although the work appears lighthearted it has a foothold in critical approach and philosophy. The characters function as shorthand for a range of philosophical concepts that undergird her strategies: "being with" (Heidegger's mitsein), "presence" and "trace" (Derrida), and "empathy" (Titchener's einfühlung). They are quite congenial and approachable -- if they where real; they're "ultrasocial" (Haidt) and totally free.
Beaucage notes that these theories are alive or active when a person is trying to figure out what they are looking at, as when the viewer fabricates stories about the characters and finds the characters to be simpatico, they (you, the viewer) empathize and make up meaning from abstraction. "That is where these theories brake down into a process -- 'trace', making the image; 'presence', a sense of a person being the character... then the viewer discovers a 'being with', the viewer is with the character and some characters are in groups; therefore, the viewer projects himself into that group in 'empathy'. The whole exhibition becomes a social space, a scene that you look at and that you can put yourself in." In this respect, Sequencer-Spectrum-Reverb explores the concept of relationship as the waveform through different degrees of definition of abstraction and figuration.
Skipper: Volta 2016, Solo Exhibition, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, New York
Beaucage’s Skipper paintings invites you to follow a young swashbucklers couple in a topside adventure. Petula is a sailor, she sold all her belongings in New York and now navigates the South Pacific with her lover and shipmate; a philosopher from Denmark called Gudbjorn. He is a scholar and an activist. His most famous publications are: How To Give Up Oil For Electric Cars, How to Stop Polar Caps from Melting and How to create Justice and Equality for Everyone. Gud loves cutting wood. Making wood ornaments while thinking about how the worlds populations is exponentially growing. What will happen to the food production in Micronesia he wonders; Gud wonders a lot and then he writes books with solutions about it; from his own experience on the ground. A femme of high spirits, Petula enjoys great conversations with aged tequila in her sailboat boudoir. She loves to be top free on the island, surrounding herself with quiet plants. Every afternoon Petula swims. Gud takes pictures of Petula day and night. They plumb the depths together.
Chill Bivouac Rhymes 2015, Solo Exhibition, CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles
Beaucage’s Chill Bivouac Rhymes paintings and mix media exhibition invites you to follow a small group of teens at a rave concert. A young Bolshoi ballerina; Ekaterina becomes a rave bunny and escapes her Russian lover to venture in cutting shapes with a young surfer from Bora Bora.
In parallel to S/Z’s Roland Barthes search for openness of interpretation in literature; Beaucage organized her current exhibition to allow for a looseleaf narrative. Barthes had concluded that "an ideal text is one that is reversible, or open to the greatest variety of independent interpretations and not restrictive in meaning; avoiding strict timelines and exact definitions of events." Beaucage brings about this reversibility in the exhibition by choosing a series of paintings that mixes the plot in a non linear fashion, including molly induced moments and cinematic tropes in 3D.
All the images visually rhyme with one another around a central bivouac; a campsite in the woods where the Rave is happening. The rhymes are geometric elements that are both color and sound.
The viewer will discover the paintings by looking through sculptures and painting installation. Multicolor trees, an octagon geometric shape and freestanding painted campers are installed on the gallery floor to produce a deep focus space. The inclusion of the three levels of foreground, middle ground and extreme background objects (a large painting 9 x12 feet) will create for the viewer a similar effect to a depth of field composition in cinematography; allowing the viewer to focus both close and distant planes.
Beaucage created enamel on Iron pieces that where fired at 1450° F; fusing glass to metal. Influenced by Limoges enamelings from the mid 1600s, her ravers are incapsulated in a deep glossy tranced out spaces.
Bidibidiba 2012, Solo Exhibition, CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles
Bidibidiba is a figure of speech for love, pleasure, sentimentality, and fun...Bidibidiba is where characters are built with painting activation in mind. Multicolored brush strokes are used to build abstractions that are part of the figure. The imagery is built with paint that reverts the figure/ground conversation to a figure/figure construction by building what used to be "ground" onto the same plane as the figure so they can interact.
The exhibition consists of “idealistically” bound portraits of diverse characters including girls and philosophers, art students (both fictional and real), hipsters with mustaches, Egyptian girls, princesses, knights, dragons, musketeers, wigged women, bearded men, and dandies. They are sometimes in conversations or simply doing their jobs of being portraits and holding the paint together.
Bidibidiba, is the title song of the 1970 movie “L’ Homme Orchestre” (“The Orchestra Men”) with French comedian Louis De Funes. Specifically, the Bidibidiba dance within this comedy had the effect of molding a desire in the Beaucage for a modern and colorful life. Bidibidiba is light, entertaining, new, and full of sentimentality. Also influencing the artist is Roland Barthes who wrote Le Plaisir Du Texte (The Pleasure of the Text), a book he was hoping would influence other thinkers, philosophers and researchers to consider pleasure within the critical discourse. In a 1973 interview, Roland Barthes talks about his book and explains very simply that the notion of pleasure is on “the right”, attempting to convince his friends on “the left” that pleasure should not be dismissed and actually included into criticality. He later took on the subject of love in the same manner in 1977 with his book Fragments d’un Discours Amoureux (A Lovers Discourse).
.hurluberlu 2011,Solo Exhibition, CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles
The exhibition continues the artist’s exploration of painted images that investigate relationships between signs of abstraction and figuration and how we derive meaning by simple juxtaposition of these signs. Beaucage invents characters and places them side by side with an abstracted form into a scenario that mimics what happens in a social space. The emotional thread woven into the paintings, the social spaces, is meant to stimulate discourse with the audience.
In the artist’s native Quebec, a “hurluberlu” is one who is a little crazy, sweet and original in his way of thinking, how he dresses and behaves. Physical applications of volatile multicolor brush strokes to the canvas, are the basis for the hurlubelu–like characters, while the abstractions are an investigation of improvised construction based on the shape of a lozenge (diamond shape) and Catalan solids (geometric). Relationships between the figures and the abstractions are associated by modal logic theorems in witch a lozenge represents a possibility and the figure is an agent (player). We are therefore in the domain of .hurluberlu.