On Saturday at Thinkspace gallery, Ana Bagayan continued her foray into the deepest reaches of space with “Children of the Sun”. Her alien-like children first made their appearance in her last exhibition with Thinkspace, “There Is Time to Kill Today” (covered here). For that show, her paintings explored the unknown within the realm of her imagination. Bagayan’s latest work is inspired by something closer to home, her own cultural ancestry. “I became interested in my Armenian heritage, and that eventually led me to reading about Sumerian scrolls and ancient mythology,” she shared with Hi-Fructose on opening night.
Ana Bagayan with her work.
Sumerian creation myths tell the story about how the world began and people first came to inhabit it. Some theorists claim the writings offer proof of alien visitors. Bagayan tells her own version of the conception of human and animal life by an imaginary alien race of various anthropomorphic forms. They are depicted planting fields of flowers and trees, nurturing dolphins, and paying homage to a mysterious entity. Although borrowing motifs from an ancient civilization and 50s magazine illustration, she also explores the limitless wonder of the future- coined as “futurealism”. In Bagayan’s alternate future world, people celebrate a physical and spiritual closeness to their past and continue to grow from it. Concurrently in the next room is “Bygone” by Michael Ramstead, who also explores historical ambiguity through his mythological hybrid subjects.
“Children of the Sun” by Ana Bagayan exhibits at Thinkspace Gallery from May 24th to June 14th, 2014.