Ohio Art League Thumb Box Show

The Ohio Art League always holds an exhibit of small works aimed at holiday shoppers this time of year.  The venue this season is the Franklin Park Conservatory at 1777 E Broad street from November 18th – January 3, 2018.

I’ve tried just about every approach there is for this show, from dashed-off trifles to labor-intensive miniatures.  Neither is predictive of sales so I do whatever I want and let the chips fall where they may.    The pieces must be no bigger than 6″x6″, which isn’t a lot of image-space.  My surfaces are a couple of pieces of plywood blocked on the back to lift them off the wall a bit, all compliments of hipster hubby Joel.

"Red Beast" by Lynda McClanahan

“Red Beast” by Lynda McClanahan

First up is this mash-up of the Hindu goddess of the Ganges and the Whore of Babylon found in Revelations.   Some of the iconography comes straight from the Whore and some of it would be recognized by devotees as belonging to Ganga-ma.  True to the Bible, the figure rides a red beast and is dressed in scarlet and purple.  The position of the feet and the surplus of arms is strictly Hindu, as is the idea of symbolic signifiers held in each hand.  The objects themselves have been nudged closer to the naughty lady dreamed up by John the Revelator however.  A Venus flytrap is held aloft instead of a lotus, a purse dangles from a wrist, a knife protrudes menacingly from a lower hand and a pot of spurting blood is palmed by another.   It’s a hybrid image pretty much guaranteed to offend those who really look and mystify those who don’t.

"Red Bird"

“Red Bird” by Lynda McClanahan

The other painting is the other side of the coin.  A benign queenly figure, also in purple, holds a flowering staff in one hand and a little red bird in the other.    I’ve used similar colors and constructed the same crown for each figure to suggest a relationship between them, but what that relationship might be is left to the viewer.  Here’s hoping the pieces are hung together.