The Makers of Weather: A Survey of Interior and Exterior Landscapes

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The Maker of Weather, 2007 Oil On Canvas Panel 82" X 48" © Joshua Elias
The Makers of Weather: A Survey of Interior and Exterior Landscapes
Curated by: Delia Cabral

3107 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
September 13th, 2007 - October 27th, 2007

Tue-Fri 11-5, Sat 12-5, by appt

Curated by DCA Fine Art’s Delia Cabral, The Makers of Weather explores human responsibility for Weather through both small and large-scale oil paintings that mark a new phase in painter, Joshua Elias’ evolving abstract style.
“In light of Global Warming, Katrina, and more eco-based challenges certain to be on the way, this show couldn’t have come at a better time,” says Cabral. “And yet, The Makers of Weather is not overtly political and is not even directly about anything as specific as Global Warming. Elias’ approach is much subtler,“ she continues, “his paintings are a barometer of what’s occurring in our internal and external environments.”

Indeed, Elias starts small. For him, before weather becomes something we share and perhaps manipulate as a collective, it’s something we create inside of us as emotional landscapes or as “interior weather.“  It’s our “interior weather“ that becomes the foundation for whatever we manifest in the world – an artwork, a child, an idea, or even the physical weather itself. Relating this to the artistic process, Elias comments, “being conscious of the act of creating all the elements, physical, spiritual and all of the in-betweens, continues to inform me as well as my art.“

In Elias’ view, Weather may be something we each personally create, but in the end it is profoundly communal and potentially redemptive. “This seems to be a time of conflict and ceaseless action. The one thing we do share is weather, so it seems natural that weather should be a force that brings us together,“ says Elias.
The work evokes landscapes, but not in a literal sense. Cabral compares it to the experience of looking out an airplane window. “It’s that dreamy feeling you get when flying. Without focusing too hard, you get a sensation of water, air, land, ice, and mist. Much the same way you can perceive people as clusters of sensations, memories, and various emotional states.“

As seen in pieces like The Makers of Weather and The Way Water Moves in Iceland, Elias employs his mastery of oil media to reflect the physical landscape. Solid clumps of paint become dense land masses, cracked areas may be parched, desert terrain, and light strokes transform the paint into cloud-like mist. "His ability to portray the temporality of weather, to show transitions from solid to liquid to ethereal, visually demonstrates the potential for making and remaking our environment. Elias truly is a conjurer of weather on canvas," says Cabral.

Elias has been a staple of the Los Angeles art scene for over two decades. His work has been exhibited at MOCA, LACMA, and Gallery C as well as many other museums and galleries. His art has appeared in a variety of publications including Interior Design Magazine, Los Angeles Time, New York Times, and a feature article in Angeleno Magazine. In June 2008, Elias will have a solo exhibit in the Longuedoc region of France.

Elias lives and works at the Brewery Arts Complex in Los Angeles. His ideas about “making weather,” however, germinated abroad. During a ride on a glass-topped train in Switzerland, he met a “curious man” who invited him on a personal tour of the United Nations in Geneva. Once there, he heard talk of putting large quantities of silver nitrate into clouds in order to create rain and alleviate drought. Fascinated, Elias soon began exploring on canvas what has now become The Makers of Weather.