Amanda Marie’s emotionally-complex, yet innocent and playful imagery extends throughout the walls of White Walls Gallery for her first San Francisco solo show, “I Was Just Thinking.” As opposed to the overtly sexual or political themes expected from stencil art, Amanda Marie’s work comes forth with endearing, nostalgic visuals that have double meanings and expand on deeper issues of a more grown-up, serious caliber beyond what her juvenile subject matter suggests.
Basing her work on illustrations and characters found in iconic, mid-20th century children’s books, Amanda Marie opts to depict Modern American childhood in the form of ambiguous and non-linear narrative paintings. Using spray paint and original stencils, Amanda Marie modifies storybook-like characters by creating bizarre, unsettling situations. For instance, a big part of her work is fixated on images of little girls falling, perhaps alluding to Alice’s fall into the rabbit hole. Other works feature little boys and girls confined to their animal-hybrid bodies, which, by the way, are still perfectly outfitted in delicate sweaters and peter-pan collars. These modified images create interesting juxtapositions between innocence and worldly, inevitable corruption. These painterly and whimsical depictions of childhood gear towards a deeper understanding of adult themes that regard sexuality, loss of innocence, greed, happiness, envy and elation.