Redd Walitzki‘s work carries with it the heavy green mist of the Pacific Northwest, where the artist lives and creates. Her paintings, many of them sealed on wooden panels, explore the allure of the twenty-first century nymph and the nature that surrounds such a creature. Androgynous and elaborate, the pieces are a marker of life, commemorating a moth’s four week- long flutter in the same celebratory way they do a human being’s ninety-year journey.
The characters Redd portrays are often masked, pointing to the profundity behind her work. Their faces are veiled as if in preparation for a forest carnival; eyes, foreheads, and cheeks covered by butterfly wings, blossoms, and sometimes, a dripping substance that to me feels like Mother Nature’s afterbirth. An earthy sort of sexuality, organic and human, permeates the artwork, further bridging the gap between soil and skin- emphasizing that as living organisms, we all come from the same place. We all once slept on the same bed of moss.
One piece in particular that I must mention is the relatively recent “Delicate Remains”, which, as the title suggests, portrays the remains of a fox resting on the forest floor. I think this piece effortlessly sums up the essence of living, how death leaves us decaying on the ground, only to come back and grow more life out of our carcasses. The fox in Walitzki’s piece is very dead, but still wears a flower in his hair. “Exquisite Corpse”, her installation for the Modern Eden show in San Francisco pairs “Delicate Remains” with an alabaster woman, her body flung over a patch of grass that seems to unravel underneath her. Walitzki’s installation is a haunting, delicate mural of mortality, and I know she’s seen faeries.
Redd treats the natural cycle in her art like a sacred thing; ethereal, fleeting, and highlighting the primal human need for expression. To check out more of her work, visit http://www.reddwalitzki.com.