Andrew Edlin Gallery is pleased to announce “Paulina Peavy: The Artist Behind the Mask,” a solo exhibition on view from September 16 – October 30, and the artist’s first show with the gallery. The title is taken from a self-produced film released in August 1985 that espouses Peavy’s personal beliefs on the nature of the universe and the existence of particular UFOs with whom she collaborated. The 24-minute film features Peavy’s drawings, paintings, and masks with super-imposed images of ancient statues, airplanes, and other visual effects.
In 1932, Paulina Peavy (1901 – 1999) attended a séance in Long Beach, California, where she claims to have met a UFO named Lacamo, a spirit from another world. From that moment forward Peavy, a university-trained artist, painted with a brush that “moved on its own.” In order to better channel Lacamo’s energies, Peavy also constructed and wore masks when she painted, occasionally signing her works with Lacamo’s name alongside her own.
Peavy said she learned the secrets of the universe from her, secrets that became the subject matter of her art. Over time, she developed a belief that the world evolved in 12,000-year cycles that are broken down into four 3,000-year periods corresponding to the four seasons. Key to Peavy’s philosophy is a belief in reincarnation, and after experiencing a 3,000-year Summer Age, the last of which occurred during the reign of the Egyptian pharaohs, people become spirits, or UFOs, inhabiting the universe as invisible atoms or electronic beams that can take on different forms when descending to Earth from the far reaches of the universe.
Peavy’s entire life was dedicated to promoting her worldview and various philosophies through drawing, painting, sculpture, text and film. Her drawings, in particular, depict the artist’s individualized visual cosmos using shapes that resemble energy beams, solar systems, and procreative organic shapes signifying genitalia, ova, fallopian tubes, sperm, and fetuses. Peavy’s life and work were constantly evolving to reflect her belief in humankind’s evolution to an androgynous one-sex through contact with aliens.
Paulina Peavy was born in 1901 in Colorado City, Colorado. She graduated from Oregon State College (OSC) in 1923 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Education and completed her MA at the Chouinard School of Fine Art in Los Angeles. Peavy lived to be 98 years old, passing away in 1999, having witnessed nearly the entire 20th Century. Her work was most notably featured at the 1939 San Francisco Exposition where she painted a fourteen-foot mural titled The Eternal Supper, depicting her own philosophical belief in a one gender perfection.