Into the vortex: Three-dimensional spirals inspire
By David Jager
Into the vortex: Three-dimensional spirals inspire by David Jager Los Angeles-based artist Jen Stark doesn’t hang her work in galleries; she creates inter-dimensional rifts in their walls. Occupying a wholly original territory between painting and sculpture, she literally builds her complex vortices into walls or pedestals, giving the impression that they’ve opened into rainbow hued wormholes. Behind each of these manifestations is a daunting degree of meticulous craftsmanship, handicraft and math. Stark’s three-dimensional spirals and eye-brain workouts are derived from a mix of sacred geometry and fractals painstakingly reconstructed by hand using brightly coloured paper, foam board and glue. It’s Stark’s patient commitment to detail that lends her works their hallucinatory vividness. The geometrically precise swirl of Vortextural is made all the more compelling by the ambiguous rainbow-hued shapes around its rim. She skirts the chaotic edge of her mathematically precise constructions in ways that make them more playful. And she’s not afraid to revel in the pure joy of colour running wild, as in Drippy, where it appears that a prismatic glob of colours has started to literally run down the wall from the gallery ceiling. Dimension makes its visual impact with more restraint and elegance. A series of concentric rings suspended by threads to form a receding tunnel floating in mid-air, it evokes the colour spectrum and its perceptual trickery. Circling around it, however, you’re surprised to discover that the far side has been rendered in black and white, a monochrome inversion of the same work. Pulsating, mathematically complex geometries bursting with colour are things we associate with waving glow sticks at 4 am. Stark gives these old psychedelic tropes a conceptual retrofit, infusing them with a clean, playful, contemporary edge.