Mary Anna Pomonis, The Regime of Equal Aesthetic Rights, graphite on paper, courtesy Torrance Art Museum
Mary Anna Pomonis: 12 GAUGE: A Rapid Fire Study of Los Angeles Art at Torrance Art Museum
3320 Civic Center Dr.
Torrance, CA 90509
June 18 through June 20, 2009
The Handwriting is on the Wall
Mary Anna Pomonis’ three day exhibit is part of a two month series at the Torrance Art Museum curated by Max Presneill. These exhibits are designed to showcase Los Angeles artists that Presneill feels represent current trends in the city’s art scene. Each artist is given the opportunity to exhibit their work, followed by a lecture and reception.
I was present for Mary Anna’s exhibition in which she openly discussed her creative process - skeletons and all. Mary Anna’s graphite drawings are overflowing with psychological metaphors and references to psychoanalysts like Jacques Lacan and his theory of the “mirror stage”. The drawings are Mary Anna’s guide dogs, helping her navigate through her inquires about her life as an artist and a woman.
She asserted that the marks in a drawing are analogous to a person’s signature. The quality of lines - along with their movement, rhythm, and form - are open to psychological interpretation. The tearing, burning and crumbling of paper that Mary Anna uses as drawing models already lends itself to emotional analysis. And the labor-intensive nature of each drawing expresses her diligence and unyielding vigilance to her craft.
The exhibit, named 12 Gauge, also integrates images of crumbled firing range targets. Acquiring bullet riddled specimens, as well as purchasing new target sheets, is integral to her drawing process. She humorously described the clandestine nature that is a byproduct of purchasing new targets. Fact or fiction, I imagined the targets being relegated to dark corners of the gun shop
The intricacies of Mary Anna’s drawings are achieved by a humble graphite pencil. She emphasized the portability of her drawing medium. She brings a pencil in her purse and draws anytime-any place. It’s a concealed weapon she can carry without a license, and it’s loaded.
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Sandra Vista is A freelance journalist in Los Angeles.