Lily Morris, like most 20somethings, stumbled through adolescence under the thrilling and alarming advance of social media. She’s come to see the social networks, with their viral memes and advertising campaigns, as anthropological barometers of our culture. She wonders: With this public archive of moods and moments in individuals’ lives, could we look back and surmise something of our own collective unconsciousness — as a culture, and as a species? After all, Morris says, “we’re all just really smart monkeys, frantically filling spaces with stuff.”
But Morris isn’t an anthropologist by trade, she’s an artist — so she’s working the question out through brushstrokes. In the calm and spaciousness of her large-format oils, classic portraiture is sucked into a psychedelic vortex, figurative realism explodes into a flourish of foliage. Vibrant color winds itself through shadows like a house fire — it’s all so bizarre and beautiful that you can’t look away.