Atlanta, Georgia based artist Sarah Emerson‘s paintings and murals portray a world where sweetness and craziness collide in energetic displays. These colorful landscapes present a bizarre version of actual places or things, inspired by the ways that time and human intervention affects them. Words like loopy, cartoony, even psychedelic are often used to describe her imagery, populated by Disney-cute animals like baby deer and googley-eyed creatures, who peek through a thick foliage of wavy shapes and lines. Emerson once said that if there is any message that runs through all of her paintings, it’s that life is delicate and temporary, and she urges us to be present in it. This philosophy is at the heart of her solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, “The Unbearable Flatness of Being”, where a black cloud hangs over her trippy forest land. In her large-scale and expansive 18-piece series, trees and brush appear to have been destroyed by an unknown force, which we can only assume is the presence of man, suggested in the graffiti tags left behind by “Kilroy.” As the palette turns gray, creatures take shelter in underground burrows while the ground is littered with skull-like formations and bare branches. Emerson admits that her work mixes in a little darkness within the beautiful, bright setting, as that is the nature of life and the world she is the most familiar with.
“The Unbearable Flatness of Being” by Sarah Emerson is now on view at the MOCA GA through February 6th, 2016.