Leslie Shows is a local Bay Area artist whose paintings have titles like “ The Arrangement of Salts and Metals by Properties,” where she succeeds in melding elemental natural tones with moody pychedelic lightning and rainbow crystals. The vibrant colors and the explosive use of paint in Leslie Shows work, balanced with the subtle greys and stone. Her paintings reunite the rift between science and art by utilizing color and form to explain what is happening in our real world sometimes on such a grand scale that we are usually unable to notice. The first image is detail of her painting called “The Nitrogen Cycle.” She magically displays working concepts on thge working of our physical world by combining elements to create something as basic as the air we breathe. Everything is located on a grand Geologic Time Scale which surpasses our normal experience of the world by millions of years and can destroy our reality with one shift.
I especially love the displays of lightening in her art. She is using the paint as a medium often without use of a brush to create gradients and layers like the sedimentary layers of the earth. There are many textures created by metals and remnants of the manufacturing process being scratched through the painted surface. The fractal physics of liquid dynamics is visible on a smaller scale.
Here is a brillant installation which suits her work on a grand scale at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. She brings a timeless element to a world that is always changing and we are just a passing moment in it.