Three of San Diego’s most popular and beloved young female artists are successful, driven women with distinct messages to share. Gloria Muriel, Carly Ealey and Celeste Byers capture our eyes and minds with their large scale murals at SILO and in multiple locations and media.
Muriel and Ealey present works that directly deal with what we nerds in the art history, film and psychology world refer to as “the gaze.” In a nutshell, the gaze refers to becoming aware you are an object. Theorized and argued by Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and more (yes, all those brainiacs you had to study in your psychology, philosophy and anthropology courses), there are a slew of fascinating theories, including the male gaze, the medical gaze, and the imperial gaze. Seriously, just Google “the gaze,” and have some mind-fun.
Muriel’s characters command our attention instantly, projecting a gaze you can’t pull your eyes away from. Large penetrating orbs make us aware we are looking and are looked upon. The eyes are surrounded by serpentine lines and dreamy color schemes, so we feel somewhat like the visual version of Odysseus and crew being lured not by the song of the sirens but the gaze of Muriel’s faces.
Ealey’s women alternate between direct irresistible gazes and diverted, far-off looks. Seductive and gorgeous, her women strike us with their beauty, and make us acutely aware that we are examining them. From their strong features to their perfectly contoured noses, lips and delicate eyelashes, they project not just physicality but strength and independence. We find ourselves wondering about the identity and backstory of these women.
Byers creates works that are whimsical, fun and full of absorbing details. The eye and mind wander over her works, pausing on the folds in a bird’s feather, the curvaceous lines in the tree trunk, or the bristly hairs of a penguin. Vibrant shades of pinks, purples, and blues are joyful in delivery, and playful in tone. You can’t help but stand in front of her murals and smile, envisioning the imaginary worlds beyond that Byers lets us glimpse.
All three of these women, through similar and varying subject matter, create inspiration for a generation of young women looking to enter the art world. They effortlessly and intrinsically portray a female perspective to art, while being accessible and enjoyable to everyone. Make it your mission, regardless of gender, age or artistic preference, to see these incredible artists’ work at SILO. They will make you think about yourself, art and reality in multiple new ways.
SILO at Makers Quarter is at 753 15th St., San Diego. For a calendar of upcoming events, visit makersquarter.com/happenings
Laurie Delk is an avid art historian, holding a master’s degree in Art History, with concentrations in the Modern and Postmodern movements. She has taught classes at Tulane University, and has been published with several art publications including Sculpture Magazine and New Orleans Art Review. Send ideas for art stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.