To one, it’s a confederacy of marine organisms, a reef habitat teeming with bright, lustrous coral, pulsating jellyfish, and mysterious translucent beings. To another, it’s Georgia O’Keefe on mind-altering drugs, a mosaic of amazing orchid patterns pressed into congress with cellular silhouettes and the fibrous underbellies of wild mushroom caps. To still another, it’s a single living creature suspended malignantly from above, each astonishing aspect of its person networked to the others by fine vesicle-like filaments that might transmit blood, energy, or otherworldly intelligence. Whatever it is, I prefer to think of the art of Yellena James less as a Rorschach test and more as a skylight forcing open the closed mind. Can an artist go about depicting things this radically amorphous, albeit suggestive, and actually find a niche in the finicky world of gallery art? She can if she has the talent of Yellena James.
Our survey of Yellena’s work began, of course, with a piece that exemplified all the distinctive qualities of her style: the radiantly image-saturated, fittingly named Allusion. The artist, however, didn’t stop there. She fetes a festive gathering of mitochondrial revelers in Masquerade, infuses her Honeydew forest with a spectrum of summery pastels, loops up a swirling tempest in Cloudburst and celebrates simple Wonder with a print of the same name. One after another, her drawings delight us, and here’s one especially delightful “drawing” to top it off: the winner of today’s giveaway will win the Yellena James print of his or her choice, up to $20 in value. To enter, visit Yellena's Etsy Shop, then come back here to tell us about your favorite print. Wishing Willow subscribers earn an extra entry; be sure to let us know in a second post if you’re a subscriber. To post without a Google account, just click “anonymous.” Be sure to also leave your email address. The winner will be chosen randomly. Contest ends 11/6/08. Best of Luck!
**We have a winner! Mommyhood is Thankless who said, "Allusion is my favorite I really love the detail! In the interest of making it look like I actually visited the etsy shop full or gorgeous art work, I also like Starlight and Maybe too! If I won, I seriously would have a rough time picking!"**