McPhee brings abstract and political undertones to Cerritos art gallery


"A Single Dose of Synthetic Estrogen Can Prolong This Golden Hour" painting was one of Christina McPhee's recent work. The painting depicts the disintegrating and absorbent chemical IDs for estrogen. Photo credit: Briana Velarde

Briana Velarde

Second Sight, a solo exhibition of recent work by conceptual painter and new media artist, Christina McPhee is now displayed at the Cerritos College Art Gallery.

Opening reception for the art work was held on Sept. 8 in FA 50.

McPhee’s paintings are an ink-over-oil process.

Director and Curator of Cerritos College Art Gallery James MacDevit said, “She starts with the oil and creates a spectrum of color and then starts to insert the drawing on top of it. Even though this is abstract work, there’s political undertones that are really powerful.”

“A Single Dose of Synthetic Estrogen Can Prolong This Golden Hour” is one of McPhee’s paintings that kept grabbing the attention of many students.

The painting depicts the disintegrating and absorbent chemical IDs for estrogen.

The “Golden Hour” is a term used by military doctors on the battle field. If a solider is wounded and if you get them to a doctor within that hour they can be saved.

McPhee said, “Synthetic estrogen had been sent by mistake to the battlefields in Iraq. The military doctors found if they injected the wounds with the synthetic estrogen that they can stop the bleeding.”

She incorporated the chemical compound of the synthetic estrogen into the painting along with red paint.

Francisco Tapia, studio arts major, was one of the students intrigued by the painting.

“I like that she relates her paintings to issues that are currently or have happened around the world. I see the abstract work that she brings when she adds certain quotes or even certain images that she adds.”

Second Sight is one of the first solo exhibitions since MacDevitt took over the gallery. He was so impressed with McPhee’s work he thought she deserved a solo presentation.

McPhee has switched to new media and video based art.

She became the founding moderator of one of the most important online platforms called “Empyre” based out of Cornell University.

She has been leading discussions for new media for the last 15 years.

There will be two other events happening beside opening reception.

“We are going to have an artist talk on Monday, Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in FA 43. We are also going to have a closing reception along with a book release,” said MacDevitt.

There is a book coming out with Punctum Press called Christina McPhee: A Common Place Book.

The closing reception will debut her new book. The reception will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12 which is a Saturday to invite the outside community and will be the last day her work is displayed.

McPhee displayed her work here at Cerritos College because she wanted to see if students would be excited to look at this work and see all of the elements in it.

Jordan Wng, arts major, said, “I like how her work looks like it wasn’t done with much thought but it obviously was so I think that’s the best part. I see a lot of chemical formulas, writing and texture its just crazy.”