Mixed Media Assemblage with Papier Mache Figures
Virginia McCracken is a Santa Barbara–based artist who creates small-scale assemblages …. imaginary worlds inside boxesthat are inhabited by paper mache figures. The expressively detailed characters are of unknown species, generally related to cats, dogs, rabbits, and horses, but not quite, and sometimes not at all. She creates evocative habitats for these creatures, some minimal and mysterious, others crafted like stage sets or rooms. There are no explicit stories, although a hint of narrative is often contained in the titles. The characters are sometimes engaged in activity or relationship, but some are contemplative and alone. The miniature works have been described as whimsical and touching, humorous, as well as dark. The artist is inspired by make-believe and the notion of secret interior worlds. The viewer must step up close because of the small scale and is drawn into the intimate, ethereal realm of each piece and into his or her own story.
Virginia has been making art for more than 30 years. Her work has been widely shown in California, Washington State, and New York City and is in collections both internationally and nationally. Locally her work is in the County Arts Commission/Berkus Collection. She is represented by Gary Gibson Studio in Los Angeles, Wendy Foster Upstairs in Montecito, CA, and Sollano 16 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Kennedy Watson in Seattle, WA. Until 2012 she owned and operated The Project Fine Art Zone Gallery, in Santa Barbara, with eight other artists.
She currently shares studio space with 3 Santa Barbara artists at Green House Studios, 136 East Yanonali Street in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone.