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VAP2021-Q1 Words and Pictures

Time warp dreamscapes: the resilient paintings of Lindsey Kircher

When Lindsey and I studied in Florence, the sunlight would stream through our apartment windows and we would read and draw in the warm Italian light. And then we would wear matching butterfly gems and mini skirts and go clubbing until our eyes burned from the neon strobes. We did mediocre performance art too, standing on cathedral stairs and yelling in the piazzas about shitty Italian men. 

A few years after that, we went to East Asia, seeking the same warm light on a Cambodian river. By nightfall, we were wearing gems (still a travel necessity after many years) and finding ourselves on Beer Street during a water festival, drenched, but still glowing, as we danced in celebration. That water festival was baptismal in a sense, marking our friendship and restoring our energy for another three weeks of sleeping in overcrowded youth hostels. 

When I see Lindsey’s work, I think about these times: basking in warm light, being rejuvenated in neon light, tender moments of friendship and reflection, and fierce moments of empowerment. Her paintings, often depicting nude women in a layered landscape, exist in a time warp. The curved bodies, though primordial in their stature and relationship to the environment, occupy contemporary, psychedelic dreamscapes. Tie-dye tees, disco balls, and silver hair transport these figures to the now.

In I Depend On Me, three bodies embrace in a tangled mass, keeping afloat like a buoy at sea. Rather than struggling against the force of the ocean, the tangled figures become a part of the colorful seascape, harnessing this power and glowing through the black water. Limbs of all kinds – arms, legs, tentacles, and anemone – emanate and entwine. I am reminded of Captain Nemo’s epic journey on the Nautilus, beholding the riotous color, mysticism, and story of the sea. From the coast of Thailand to the Aegean Sea, Lindsey and I always end our adventures near great bodies of water. I Depend on Me feels like an ode to this pull of the ocean and it’s magical, yet sobering effects. 

In Body Shots, two figures perform an intimate and sensual exchange in which one figure consumes alcohol off of another’s body. Enveloped by a canopy of ferns, flowers, and crocodile scales, this act is recontextualized, appearing primitive and ritualistic. Like the self-regenerative qualities of lotus flowers, the figures participate in an empowering, life-giving exchange connected to the navel, the very center of where life begins. Perhaps, once the females leave the sheltered canopy, they can carry on with their newfound strength. 

Whether the figures are supporting each other, harnessing the power of nature, or looking to the sky for guidance, they convey a theme of resilience and the will to carry on. So much of life is about this courage and Lindsey’s paintings, accented with disco balls, gems, and mermaid scales, make this extraordinary bravery sparkle.

About the artist: Lindsey Kircher was born in Paris, France and raised in the Washington, DC area. She earned a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the Schreyer Honors College at the Pennsylvania State University in 2019. Lindsey’s recent exhibitions include PUNCH at 5-50 Gallery in Long Island City, NY, the virtual summer juried show Congruence by I Like Your Work Podcast, and InsideOUT at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Her work has been featured in ArtMaze Magazine and White Hot Magazine. Lindsey currently lives and works in Northern Virginia. Her website is www.lindseykircher.com and her instagram profile is: @linz_kirch.

About the writer: Catie Dillon is from Pittsburgh, PA. In 2018, she earned a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the Pennsylvania State University. Upon graduation, she attended Open Wabi Artist Residency in Fredericktown, Ohio and Fish Factory Residency in Stodvarfjordur, Iceland. Dillon has exhibited in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Italy. She was the recipient of the Alfred/Christy/Davis/Fink Creative Innovation Award as well as the Stefan J.S. Levine Endowment for creative research. Currently, she is based in Wassaic, New York, completing a fellowship at the Wassaic Project. Catie’s website is www.catiedillon.com and her instagram profile is @catieedillon.