Even the glitter companies wonder why she places such big orders.
June 30, 2009 9:03 AM   Subscribe

It's hard not to hear "glitter painting" and think it is as disposable an artform as the Velvet Elvis, but San Francisco artist Jamie Vasta has taken everyone's favorite craft supply to a strange and beautiful new height. Represented by Patricia Sweetow in San Francisco, Vasta recreates reference photos at large scale using only glitter and glue.

Her first solo show, Musn't, was inspired by the fairytale reimaginings of Angela Carter (feral, red delicious) and in her older work glitter adds a surprising depth and dimension to what she terms the suburban sublime. Perhaps the most startling works are her recreations, in the Kills series, of girls who hunt with their shotguns and their kills.

Of course, the work is best seen in person. A San Francisco show debuts this Sunday at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, where Vasta's work will be seen with that of Nicholas and Sheila Pye as part of Conversation 5.
posted by liketitanic (18 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
[fixed the first sentence per poster's request]
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:22 AM on June 30, 2009

It's okay. I misunderstand.

All said, I imagine her pictures are pretty damn interesting when viewed in person. The texture & luster isn't something that can be reproduced on the internet - yet.
posted by item at 9:24 AM on June 30, 2009

It's like the American Mandala, love it.
posted by The Straightener at 9:24 AM on June 30, 2009

If I ran a gallery, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't let glitter anywhere near it. That shit infects everything.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:25 AM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

What's so startling about the hunting pictures? Is it the subject matter or the execution of the pieces themselves? I suspect it's the former, but I have to say that there are large numbers of folks for whom the pictures aren't particularly disturbing at all.
posted by jquinby at 9:33 AM on June 30, 2009

In my opinion, the execution, not the subject matter. The materials highlight (ZING) the cultural expectations about gender that are upset by the subject matter and, further, the youth of the subjects.
posted by liketitanic at 9:41 AM on June 30, 2009

They look shit.
posted by the cuban at 10:04 AM on June 30, 2009

They're incredible in person. There's something about the juxtaposition of medium and subject that just makes me laugh with delight when I see her works (which is a couple times a year at least, my cousin is represented by the same gallery). One of these days I have every intention of owning one of her pieces.
posted by padraigin at 10:11 AM on June 30, 2009

I wonder if she would make a velvet picture of the step bother's cover for me?
posted by Mastercheddaar at 11:32 AM on June 30, 2009

Ah, the herpes of craft supplies.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:45 AM on June 30, 2009

"...everyone's favorite craft supply..."

I hate glitter more than you can imagine. I would like to be removed from this generalization, please.
posted by Kimothy at 11:57 AM on June 30, 2009

everyone except Kimothy's favorite craft supply.
posted by liketitanic at 12:05 PM on June 30, 2009

Hrm.... after looking through her website, the work does seem pretty craft-store/amateurish. Hopefully some of the previous commenters are correct, and it's a matter of not translating digitally, but even the composition and figure rendering seems to me a little rough.

Art is subjective, though. I just see this as a gimmicky way to get noticed, as in: "Look at this picture made by high school art students." World: 'eh'

"Look at this same picture made with glitter" World: 'ZOMGlitter!'
posted by indiebass at 12:12 PM on June 30, 2009

Oh, these are quite extraordinary. Jamie Vasta obviously has a great career ahead of her. Delighted to be surprised by her realism painting talent juxtaposed with the disturbing contrast of her dark visions in sparkle. Forensic photography done in butterfly wings sort of thing. Her Suburban Sublime series is my favorite. I particularly like the dark humor of the great smoky mountains.

I'm partial to the blue of twilight.

Her kills series is just too macabre for me to handle, even though I think it's awesome. It's that kind of twisted, like Sarah Palin with her moose kill, I cannot look but am still fascinated by it.

One of the things I like about Metafilter is discovering new and exciting art, thanks for the post, liketitanic.
posted by nickyskye at 12:16 PM on June 30, 2009

If I ran a gallery, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't let glitter anywhere near it. That shit infects everything.

Which is why we used to call glitter raver scabies.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:19 PM on June 30, 2009

The first San Francisco glitter artist that comes to mind for me is René Garcia Jr. The medium must be growing in popularity.
posted by obloquy at 12:25 PM on June 30, 2009

Freakin' awesome.

What a colourist. Loved 'hinterlandia' and 'the great smoky mountains'.

Those [older] pieces have a Monet quality to them. I'd hate to ask what she's charging for them. damn.

René Garcia Jr.'s look more like commercial prints. Vasta's are paintings. The use of glitter are entirely used for a different effect. Subject matters. Vasta's are way the fuck out there. This is no god damned amateur. LOL.

Look at 'in the rushes', yikes. Mighty powerful. A fine bookend to Nick Cave's 'Murder Ballads' comes to mind.

Thanks for that, liketitanic.
posted by alicesshoe at 5:39 PM on June 30, 2009

The Arcadia series is less challenging.

I do imagine they must be much more impressive in real life. There would be a dimensionality and glittering light to them that just can't show through the screen.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:07 PM on June 30, 2009

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