Rock & Refuge: Joshua Tree Abstract Collage Paintings

Oil paint, pattern paper, and fabric on birch panels.

"Carol Es's first solo exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery, "Rock and Refuge," is a testament to precision and detail and color and space. [Their] paintings, largely mixed media materials including meticulously cut bits of fabric on birch panels, are both whimsical and beautifully rendered. It is as though one was looking down from an aerial view into the inner workings of a sacred space - a home, a body perhaps and each of the myriad details comprises a system of understanding within the larger work itself. Round House is particularly effective as it quite literally resembles a house-like structure, cut away as it were to reveal the sanctuary inside."

- Eve Wood, Artillery Magazine


In a distance just two hours east of Los Angeles, the pulse of the city steadies itself among the rock formations in the high desert of Joshua Tree. It is known as an artist's refuge to many. And it is here where everything slows: the mind, body, and the love affair with LA that had me hyperventilating and out of breath and being chased by every day demands, as well as lofty endeavors. For me, Joshua Tree is a place of freedom and safety--a home away from home and a quiet meditation.

These abstract paintings are inspired by the residential architecture near the natural boulders along the Joshua Tree National Park border in California. I have referred to Joshua Tree as a kind of Deadwood town where unique exteriors are built seemingly without codes or restrictions. Huge, precarious rock formations seem to balance in mid-air and have found their way into my work, which is created on birch panels with oil paint, manila pattern paper, and bolt fabric to portray what might be considered architectural dreamscapes. I have drawn from the materials in my past when working in the garment industry cutting patterns, and I have often used these elements to create narratives in my art.