I went to view Ferrari Sheppard’s show, “Heroines of Innocence,” exhibiting at Wilding Cran Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. Wilding Gran Gallery was founded in 2012 by Anthony Cran and Naomi deLuce Wilding in order to promote and showcase contemporary artists. The gallery sits on the fourth floor of the building nearing the end of the hallway. For some time, I have wanted to view Sheppard’s work in person and was finally able to. Sheppard’s Show was amazing to say the least. Many of the pieces stand over four feet centered at eye level. A total of 13 pieces narrated the experience for viewers to actively engage themselves with the gallery.
Although I enjoyed every piece, two paintings stood out the most to me: “Rainbow (2020)” and “Bond" (2020):
“Rainbow” can be viewed as soon you enter and look direct to your right- it’s explosive with lots of movement. I liked the use of charcoal because it gives his pieces a velvet like texture in contrast to his use of black acrylic paint. In the painting, a figure is upside down with hands on the ground and feet in the air with one angled horizontally, and the other- vertically. Five other figures surround the upside down figure. The centered figure can be viewed as “break-dancing,” while the surrounding people bring their hands together as if to clap. I would assume them to be children because of the style of dress the girls wear. The paint was allowed to drip off of the canvas I’d say more, than the others- playing into this idea of a movement happening: dancing and encouragement.
“Bond” caught my attention because of the accentuated infants’ rear which led my eyes to the their arms wrapping around the larger figure sitting. An abstracted breast is slightly exposed and so I thought maybe the figure was breastfeeding or simply, “bonding”. This is a very intimate piece that I adore challenging me to consider moments of being an infant myself. The infant is filled in with gold leaf while the other figure is brown. To the left, a light blue paint appears channeling itself downwards and then horizontally to the right side of the canvas ending there. The blue adds to the serenity of the painting grounding itself in feelings of reliability.
I viewed all of the pieces about three times circling back to absorb their essence. During quarantine, I have been making sure that I am still able to view works in person and so many galleries have accommodated by having a reservation link on their websites. If you’re interested in viewing Ferrari Sheppard’s, “Heroines of Innocence,” make a reservation on the Wilding Cran Gallery website. The show is on view until October 31, 2020.