Article and Photos by Barbara Burke
“I think her phenomenal work is a unique combination of the future and the past,” Jacqueline “Jac” Forbes, curator and owner of Malibu’s Canvas Gallery, said, commenting about the intriguing and inspirational art work of Malibu artist Allois. “It blends the delicate beauty of the past and the uncertainty of what the future will bring and what people will look like. It’s great work to get lost in.”
Malibu Chronicle paid a call on the charming and extremely talented Allois at her Malibu gallery. It is a place of intrigue and mystique. Everywhere one looks, fascinating works beckon her to come closer, inspect the contours and nuances of the ephemeral and ethereal piece, become immersed in the vision before her, and wonder aloud, “What is this fascinating work of art in front of me? Am I seeing the past, the future, the surreal, or the present? Or perhaps, is this work entrenched in all of those realms at once?”
Art that defies definition is often some of the most intriguing and intellectually stimulating and scintillating. It challenges the intellect, confronts one’s senses, and unsettles one’s perceptions. It excites.
Allois’ repertoire is vast, variant, and deep. Her works range from the images of the Black Sea that intrigued her father during her childhood, to her depiction of the aliens for which she is most famous, to her phenomenal illustrations of special novels and works.
Allois grew up near the Black Sea in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, a small town in Saxony – Anhalt, Germany, and in Legnica, Poland. Her seascapes evoke mighty ships adrift in rough waters, their majesty commanding the seas. Summers were spent at the Black Sea with its huge waves and distinct feeling that water and sky merge more mightily than they do anywhere else on Earth.
With ancestors who were royalty, Allois remains intrigued by the ornate, austere images from centuries long gone. Her works depicting empresses, counts and countesses, and other regal subjects exude the opulence of ages past, but also always include a surprising twist, such as having a member of the royalty ride atop a pony, hold a monkey, or take an unpredictable stance.
Catching the viewer off guard and causing her to think is one of the brilliant hallmarks of Allois’ intriguing works.
Titillation teases throughout her art; there is often a sensual image amidst a Rembrandt-esque depiction. Her works are somehow concurrently incongruous and disjunct, but inviting and fascinating, making the viewer want to be in on the joke, educated in the intimated nuances, and part of the plot.
Take a tour of Allois’ gallery and all these images abound. However, the most hauntingly fascinating are her works depicting alien creatures.
“My hallmark sign is the sign of the aliens,” Allois said coyly. “If you look, it is on all my pieces. The aliens are kind of like an omen for good luck. Sometimes, I sense that I can feel them. Indeed, it seems like they are asking me to paint them. It seems they send me strong messages. Some collectors are in love with my alien scenes and my creatures.”
The eyes of the enticing empresses that all but flirt with the viewer, juxtaposed with impish aliens makes for a ghostly, fascinating, intriguing tour as one goes through Allois’ gallery.
“Depicting the image of the faces of the aliens is not easy. One must paint the eyes first, and then afterward look for the perfect image of the face. It isn’t easy to accomplish, but when it works I feel satisfaction,” Allois explains.
The distant, but inviting eyes of the aliens beckon a viewer, inviting her to perhaps have a conversation, join a soiree, or have an unknown encounter with the sentinels who gaze serenely both at and through an onlooker. The pieces fascinate and excite.
Allois’ work is described by critics as deriving from and informed by many genres. Abstraction. The surreal. At times, even the whimsical.
Allois describes herself as a semi-abstract painter with an eye for imagery and other worlds.
Allois is many things. A visionary. A painter. An artist who loves to paint on oxidized steel, copper and other metals, and an illustrator.
Her illustrations of “The Fall of the House of Usher/Usher II” by Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe, Gauntlet Press 2010, are haunting and intriguing. They are perfect for the famous works, leading one key commentator to opine:
“Allois (intensifies) “Usher II” with astounding visuals that elevate the entire volume into an unsettling fine art experience that must be seen to be believed… THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER and USHER II is not merely a book, my friends; it is an event!”
— Tomb of Dark Delights.
Allois also illustrated the cover for MIDLIFE DRAMA by Irit Kedem, Publishing House of General Union of Writers in Israel 2008.
Allois received her arts education at the National Academy of Art, Ukraine and she has exhibited across the nation and abroad.
“My work combines untamed energy of the open sea and disturbing familiarity of alien entities,” Allois said, explaining the vast expanse of her repertoire. “I invite you to fly into my Dream. I want to take you inside, deep inside. And we are taking the outside with us; we are taking it all with us… all the faces, all the mirrors, all the reflections. And when we let it out into the real world, it will feel familiar, but it won’t be.”
Accepting Allois’ invitation to come along on her magical, whimsical, mysterious journey is well worth the intellectual and emotional effort in doing so.
It is, to coin a phrase, to go on Malibu’s own Magical Mystery Tour.
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