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We’re Seeing Stars: Marcy Palmer’s “Dizzy” Second Edition

Dizzy by Marcy Palmer
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 24"x30" ($1200)

Marcy Palmer
's soaring sophomore edition is downright serendipitous. For one, our founder first met Palmer at PhotoNOLA’s Portfolio Review, which coincidentally opens for registration in just a few weeks. Secondly (and perhaps more mystically,) the celestial, starry-sky vibes of her new print, Dizzy, are particularly well-timed. You might say the stars have aligned.

See, there’s a super rare solar eclipse around the corner (August 21st!), and though its path of totality won’t align with our office whereabouts, we can’t help but feel cosmically-inclined. Don’t worry, we’re not the horoscope-toting type (ok fine, we are, but we’ll spare you). Our interest in outer space extends into the contemporary art sphere, where it’s currently to blame for our milky-way daydreams as we gaze as Palmer’s stunning second edition.

Just like Palmer’s debut edition, Burst, today’s doozy, Dizzy, defies logic. To begin with, you’d be in good company if you figured this edition was a painting. In fact, it’s actually a photograph. Palmer painstakingly composed the complex tableau piece-by-piece, achieving this perplexing painterly quality.

Building upon a blank backdrop, the artist draws, paints, and perforates. She shines a light from behind through the holes, and brings a variety of dimensional elements—both manmade and organic matter—to the visual plane: string, hanging wire, tree branches, dried leaves. These materials are twisted, pulled taut, draped, placed and dangled to create all sorts of shapes and lines in her images.

Now back to our topical space obsession...Outer space has always made excellent artistic fodder. Since she’s based in the Lone Star State, we reckon Palmer has ample access to exceptional stargazing. Texas is particularly full of great places to take in the night sky sans light pollution. Which got us thinking: Dizzy is one way of grappling with the incomprehensibility of the cosmos—or anything else similarly mystifying, for that matter.

The white rope in the lower left quadrant mirrors the form of the more ethereal streaks and smudges throughout the image. Like a constellation, it’s as if it’s meant to map out the infinite, a lasso through the “stars” of Palmer’s canvas. We are totally on board with any attempt to pin down the impossible, to engage the enigmatic.

The edition as a whole seems to straddle that liminal zone between reality and imagination. It’s utterly manufactured but overwhelmingly organic in effect. It’s captured with a slow shutter speed to create a sense of movement, a sort of unplaceable-ness. Like the other images in Palmer’s Unearthing Series, Dizzy elegantly evades exemplification.

Palmer seems to know the trick is in the trying, not concluding. How else could you convey the peculiar sensation of staring into the stars, all the more interesting for its inscrutability? Collect this piece, and you’ll be able to access the same wide-eyed sense of wonder on your walls (no waiting for a cool cosmic event required).

With art for everyone,
Team 20x200