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Cameron

An enigmatic figure in the early days of the California art scene, Cameron was a visionary painter, draftsman, actress and poet who bridged the spiritual and artistic counter cultures flourishing in Los Angeles and Hollywood.  After a stint in the Navy as a cartographer, she returned to California and became the wife and spiritual avatar of Jack Parsons, a founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and an influential leader of the philosophical group Ordo Temple Orientis. Cameron's art and lifestyle were influenced by her relationship to Parsons who died six years after their 1946 marriage. Parson's death had a profound effect on Cameron, and in the late 1950's, she destroyed much of her work.

 

 

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Cameron was a mentor and friend to artist Wallace Berman who became enthralled with her artwork, poetry, and mystical persona.  In 1955, Berman published a photograph of Cameron on the cover of his journal Semina along with an image of her drawing Peyote Vision, 1955 which is included in our current exhibition. Depicting a serpent-tongued woman in a sex act with an alien being, an image of the work was also incorporated in Berman's exhibition at the legendary Ferus Gallery in 1957. Deemed "lewd" by the Los Angeles Police Department, the drawing resulted in the temporary closing of the gallery when Berman was arrested for obscenity, tried and found guilty. After the incident, Cameron refused to show her art in commercial galleries, further cementing her role as an underground avant garde mystic.  As an actress, Cameron played the Scarlett Woman in Kenneth Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1956), and Curtis Herrington documented her role as a visual artist in a short film entitled The Wormwood Star (1955).

 

The title of the show is based on Cameron's painting Madame X, c. 1960, a work inspired by the central character of the 1908 French play of the same name by Alexandre Bisson. Channeling the eroticism of Egon Schiele, this exceptional painting is both the artist’s self portrait and her interpretation of the legendary seductress. The female protagonist is a focus of this exhibition which demonstrates Cameron’s merging of feminist power and sensuality with mythology and the occult.

 

 

 

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Sebastian (Imaginary Portrait of Kenneth Anger), 1962

Ink and gouache on paper

20 x 30 inches

$75,000

Inquire

Sun Horse, n.d.

Oil on fiberboard

49 x 34 inches

$250,000

Inquire

Untitled (figure in red), n.d.

Acrylic and pastel on paper

12 3/8 x 19 7/8 inches

$12,000

Inquire

Anatomy of Madness, n.d.

Collage on paper

26 x 20 1/4 inches

$45,000

Inquire

Untitled, n.d.

Watercolor on black paper

10 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches

$16,000

Inquire

Untitled (loose leaf), n.d.

Ink on paper

12 x 9 inches

SOLD

Untitled, n.d.

Ink on paper

14 x 11 inches

$4,800

Inquire

Untitled, n.d.

Ink on paper

10 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches

SOLD

Untitled, n.d.

Ink on paper

10 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches

$4,800

Inquire

Untitled (portrait of Crystal), 1959

Ink and gold paint on fiber board

43 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches

$250,000

Inquire

Madame X, n.d.

Oil on board

48 x 23 1/2 inches

SOLD

Samson de Brier, n.d.

Ink and gouache on paper

69 x 24 inches

$65,000

Inquire

Untitled (oval ink drawing), n.d.

Ink and metallic ink on paper

19 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches

$150,000

Inquire

Sphinx, n.d.

Ink on brown paper

23 x 34 inches

$250,000

Inquire

Untitled, c. 1980

Ink and graphite on paper

12 x 9 inches

$10,000

Inquire

Sebastian (Imaginary Portrait of Kenneth Anger), 1962

Ink and gouache on paper

20 x 30 inches

$75,000

Sun Horse, n.d.

Oil on fiberboard

49 x 34 inches

$250,000

Untitled (figure in red), n.d.

Acrylic and pastel on paper

12 3/8 x 19 7/8 inches

$12,000

Anatomy of Madness, n.d.

Collage on paper

26 x 20 1/4 inches

$45,000

Untitled, n.d.

Watercolor on black paper

10 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches

$16,000

Untitled (loose leaf), n.d.

Ink on paper

12 x 9 inches

SOLD

Untitled, n.d.

Ink on paper

14 x 11 inches

$4,800

Untitled, n.d.

Ink on paper

10 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches

SOLD

Untitled, n.d.

Ink on paper

10 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches

$4,800

Untitled (portrait of Crystal), 1959

Ink and gold paint on fiber board

43 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches

$250,000

Madame X, n.d.

Oil on board

48 x 23 1/2 inches

SOLD

Samson de Brier, n.d.

Ink and gouache on paper

69 x 24 inches

$65,000

Untitled (oval ink drawing), n.d.

Ink and metallic ink on paper

19 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches

$150,000

Sphinx, n.d.

Ink on brown paper

23 x 34 inches

$250,000

Untitled, c. 1980

Ink and graphite on paper

12 x 9 inches

$10,000

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