I think of Rebecca DiDomenico as an artistic pied piper. There is a luring, magical quality in everything she does--whether it is in her delicate drawings that lead you into their mystical spaces, or in the invitation to her cave-like installations feathering thousands of butterfly wings or to join her parade of umbrella carriers on a rainy march through Boulder. She galvanizes others, leads them to dream along with her and enter her world- a place that is a little more colorful, and a little more ideal than the one we normally live in.
There are four stars in “Worlds Suspended in Reality,” the enchanting, three-person exhibit that is currently attached to the walls, stacked on the floors, tucked into the corners, lodged into cracks and hung from the ceilings at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. [The] fourth billing — and, perhaps, top billing — just might go to Rebecca DiDomenico, the curator, whose art isn’t on display, but whose talent for matching artists in a group show is among the best I’ve seen in awhile. “Worlds Suspended in Reality” is a cohesive journey that brings out the best in everything — the artists, the building and the viewing experience.
“Once again [Rebecca has] created [her] magic when we need [her] vision most-- This time [her] Constellatory. Just as the world, this country, seems to be imploding from the inside, [Rebecca] offer[s] us the long view of the Cosmos. [Her] vision reminds me of the "Atlas de Photograph de Solaires, The Atlas of Solar Photographs by Jules Janssen in France -- (1824 - 1907) -- daily images gleaned from the layers of solar gas that makes the sun visible. I can only imagine what [Rebecca’s] own stellar exhibit is allowing [us] to see star by star by star which [she is]. I still hold the dream of collaboration.”
“The biological is… the subject of Rebecca DiDomenico’s Intentional Mutations- a shapeshifting menagerie, guided by the artist’s scientific collaborators, of creatures that could evolve as wildlife gradually adapts to changing climates. Nature, like artists, [Rebecca] points out, will experiment with evolutionary possibilities, offering “a giant testing ground” for the success and failure of species.”
“The luminous scales, rendered in an array of jewel-like colors, create a glittering skin for this immersive environment [of Pellucid]. Once inside, the delicate details and the laborious creative process that produce them transport the viewer to an other-worldly realm evoking myth and mystery… Philosopher W.G.F. Hegel said that modern humans are “amphibious” because we inhabit the realm of both mundane reality and glorious ideas. DiDomenico’s work belongs to the history of contemporary art committed to inventing mythic spaces.”
“Rather than the somewhat detached quality of the traditional art-viewing experience, [DiDomenico’s work] plunges the viewer into an all-encompassing, almost overpowering sea of imagery, creating a powerful sensory experience.”
“Rebecca’s work relates to themes of time, alchemy, gender, sexuality and science, and a desire to realize the universe through touch.” In such a way that, “a dialogue between the artwork, nature, and self emerges as thoughtful observations of a luminous and gracious world, full of wonder and contradictions… [Her pieces] suggest that within the logical and the unknown is the artist, an inquisitive translator and a medium for magic.”
“[Rebecca’s work] literally sparkles. But its intensity pulls the impact back from the edge of decorative into the realm of wondering both ‘How did she do this?’ and ‘Why haven’t I seen this before?’”
“Know the world is a mirror from head to foot, In every atom there are a hundred blazing suns. If you cleave the heart of one drop of water, A hundred pure oceans emerge from it. If you examine closely each grain of sand, A thousand atoms may be seen in it. In its members a gnat is like an elephant. In its qualities a drop of rain is like the Nile. The heart of a barleycorn equals a hundred harvests, A world dwells in the heart of a millet seed. In the wing of a gnat is the ocean of life. In the pupil of the eye a heaven: What though the grain of the heart be small, It is a station of the Lord of both worlds to dwell therin. -Mahmoud Shabistari (thirteenth –century), Gulshan-i-raz There is always something to be guessed at in Rebecca DiDomenico’s work – something inchoate and subterranean, which erupts in imagery and yet remains ungraspable – outside the scope of rational surveillance. [Her] drawings in particular demonstrate that rhythm of release and restraint, of spontaneity and contrivance through which DiDomenico seeks to crystallize, firmly and quickly, whatever emerges from the shadowy regions of the unconscious… The alchemical quest also provides a rich metaphor for the artist’s task – to transmute the “dross” of ordinary perception into the “gold” of a meaning-rich field of awareness.”
“The umbrella sphere Rebecca has created opens the human spirit to the many sensual manifestations of pleasure joined together, each part contributing equally to the whole. She thinks of her umbrella sphere as “a symbol of the magnanimous nature of the giving spirit: in this case, a representation of all the different explosions of pleasure, from the individual, personal forms, to the more universal experience of pleasure.”
“Among the participating artists from Boulder, Rebecca DiDomenico (in collaboration with the evolutionary biologist Andrew Martin) imaginatively conjured animals’ potential shape-shifting as adaptations to environmental reconfiguration. Her luminous color transparencies mounted on Plexiglass hung in front of two dense strands of glass marbles entwined to suggest the double helix of DNA.”