Gregorio Escalante Gallery is pleased to announce Galactic Plains, a solo exhibition of new work by Esther Pearl Watson. Often described as a faux naive painter, Watson’s first Los Angeles solo show in nearly six years will feature new paintings as well as never before seen sculpture work. Her folk qua outsider aesthetic relies on Watson as an unreliable narrator, taking her childhood experiences and subsequently mythologizing them, perpetuating her own myth. Her work gives anyone who has experienced the (dis)enchantment of small town life and being the odd-one-out a gentle reassurance that they are not alone.
Watson’s paintings become windows into the past, delving into our subjective experiences as children and recapturing the magic that permeated the world. As a child, her father built flying saucers in the yard, creating “visions of the future” when they would fly, although they rarely ever even made it off of the ground. Emigrating from Italy to Texas during the 50s, he was eccentric, growing up amidst cowboys during the space race and post World War II tumult. Watson uses these experiences of her youth as inspiration, drawing on the influence of her father’s unique worldview and actions on her world view. Her interpretations of UFOs are entirely her own, refeminizing a masculine genre through pinks, glitter, soft palettes, and central vulvic forms as spacecrafts.
About Esther Pearl Watson
Esther Pearl Watson grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas, moving often as her father’s scrap metal and car engine flying saucers did not sit well with their neighbors. She attended ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena in the mid1990s and received her BFA in illustration, thereafter attending California Institute of the Arts in 2012 to receive her MFA in painting. Her work combines images and often short sentences or fragments to suggest a narrative that exerts a deep emotional pull, evoking our personal feelings and experiences. Watson is also the author of the graphic novel Unlovable, published by Fantagraphics and has appeared regularly in BUST Magazine for over twelve years. She has exhibited internationally at Galleri Galleberg in Norway, Grafikens Hus in Sweden, and Antonio Colombo Gallery in Milan, as well as across the United States at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Oakland Museum of California, Webb Gallery, Billy Shire Fine Art, and La Luz de Jesus. Watson currently lives in Los Angeles, teaching multiple courses at ArtCenter.