Untitled (Portrait of Crystal)
On View at the Getty Center: Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970
Besides being an artist and a writer, Cameron was an important member of occult circles in Southern California, and was married to the scientist Jack Parsons, a follower of Aleister Crowley. Her drawings and paintings were filled with the esoteric symbolism of the occult as well as allusions to Greek mythology. Untitled (Portrait of Crystal) is a painting of the artist’s daughter, born in 1955. The sinuous lines that Cameron employs in this work echo natural forms such as entwining branches and leaves. These shapes are echoed further by the ornate wooden frame, a found object that adds a sense of mystery, nostalgia, and other-worldliness to the painting. Crystal is a recurring subject in Cameron’s work, where she is usually represented as a young, nymph-like creature.