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Maija Peeples-Bright at Parker Gallery


Walking into Parker Gallery’s solo exhibition of Maija Peeples-Bright is like jumping into the fantastical world of the artist’s own creation — one in which Lady Godiva is adorned with prancing geese, and alligators, pandas, and giraffes mingle with millipede-corgis. For Peeples-Bright, the animal world is exuberant, playful, and in full technicolor. At the opening over the weekend, the 78-year-old artist sported a bespoke tunic, hat, shoes, and facemask, all hand-painted by the artist, and depicting her exuberant animals that she calls “beasties.”

Peeples-Bright was involved in the “Funk” and “Nut” artists of the ‘60s Bay Area, and her exuberantly-painted “Rainbow House” was a central hub for California funk artists like Roy De Forest and Robert Arneson. Her Parker Gallery exhibition is a retrospective, containing paintings and ceramic works from the last 60 years of artistic production, and examines Peeples-Bright’s whimsical and imaginative style.

In “Goose Lady Godiva,” a triumphant Godiva has glowing yellow hair that’s filled in with turkeys, and skin that is adorned with geese. She rides into town on a horse-like creature that is an amalgam of dogs, fish, and other interlocking “beasties.” In Peeples-Bright’s idiosyncratic language, humans and animals layer and co-mingle to create textured landscapes that playfully argue for the interconnectedness of all living things.