Margaret Vega


In my most recent work, Color Me Flesh, I am in the process of examining the systematic branding of other. More about this project can be seen on the page under “work”.

In the series, Icarus Myth, I am re examining the myth of Icarus and the possible present day relationships suggested by the story.  For me, this myth has always held the metaphor for the balance of dreams and the challenges and risks we face to achieve them. Icarus Myth: Dreams Deferred, a continuation of this series,  is about the uncertain complexities of pursuing ideals while faced with delays; some imposed, some imagined.
The figures of wax and the watercolors are in various stages of yielding, of holding back, of delaying the “leap of faith” that must precede the pursuit of a dream.

The series,  Perpetual Order is the continuation of an ongoing body of work examining my interest in our human need to re organize the natural order of our world and the interaction that consideration inspires. In our attempt to reassemble and also deconstruct, we change the course of our rivers, alter the spawning patterns of our fish; divide the land into stone framed sections to harvest salt, and construct linear patterns to plant corn or harvest grapes. Sometimes this created space confines us, and other times we are uncomfortable with its vastness and seek the close proximity of confinement. My interest lies not in this conflict, but in the poetry of the observation. I am an observer, and this work examines rather than decides.

The stone angels, most recently drawn from the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Genoa and the island of Capri in Italy, provide imagery for what I perceive as our need to leave something behind, something grand and timeless, to mark our evanescent journey.  The word, angel, comes from the Greek word, angelos, which means “messenger”.  Because the angel appears in many parts of the world, I began exploring the idea of “messengers” in my monotype series, “Voices of the Children” in 1999, and I remain drawn to their haunting beauty to this day. In this sense, we use these stone angels to guarantee order in our last journey, a place yet unknown.

The realization of these relationships seems to imply decisions that we have made in the obligation to create order. This phenomenon, this need for perpetual organization, often appears in direct conflict with natural order. We are seemingly unaware of existing order containing the sacredness of harmony and balance.  I am interested in “dinergy”, the energy that transforms discrepancies into harmony by allowing differences to complement each other. This is accomplished through the power of proportions that unite, letting each part preserve its own identity. This greater pattern is most obvious in nature.

It is my hope that the viewer might see these juxtaposed relationships in the assumed permanence of the stone angels, the temporary and fleeting quality of the chalkboard and the reorganized spaces. We struggle with the knowledge of our impermanence and therefore leave marks to note our existence. For me, the angels become these marks, and often the messengers, of these marks.  The angels represent our attempt to explain, validate and record our journey as an organized acknowledgment that we were here.

Although this work varies in media and composition, traveling from the landscape to the figure, the examination of these ideas has remained consistent in my work for over 20 years. For me, these concepts keep surfacing over the years, like unconscious concentric circles touching the edges of something I am drawn to and therefore, I paint it again.