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article imageOp-Ed: Surrealist Cynthia Tom brings a whimsical side to Sausalito Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Nov 7, 2016 in Lifestyle
Sausalito - The rainy and yet summer-like weekend of Nov. 5 and 6 was a busy one for surreal artist Cynthia Tom. She opened her art studio at 1890 Bryant for an Open Studios weekend while preparing for a more formal gallery showing.
She mentioned how excited and honored she is to have her works displayed at the "fem i nine intuition" exhibit at the Madrigal Family Winery Tasting Salon & Gallery on Nov. 8
For over 20 years, Cynthia has pushed conventional notions beyond the confines of established expectations within cultural norms and concepts. In recent years, she has put her surrealist talents to the test by delving deep into the forbidden past of her family's ancestry and their journey to America. Utilizing official historical resources and her family's own personal photos, Cynthia has constructed powerful and informative art installations on a grand scale at Route One Gallery at Point Reyes Station this past summer.
While she is always eager to raise awareness of important issues, there is that softer side, the feminine element, which can be more whimsical, that simply wants to express itself. And, at the same time share the life-affirming aspects of a life empowered by the creative force.
Before channeling her surrealist energy into important and critical issue-topics, Cynthia in her younger days enjoyed pushing boundaries. She liked exploring the special things about our subconscious that make us wonder or be drawn into something fascinating. In some of her whimsy moods she even poked fun at things, gently asking "why is that?"
An example, this reporter recalls from some years ago, would be a broach she made with a photo of actor Marlon Brando at the center. A golden 'M' affixed the tiny photo.
An earlier work (circa 1990s)  artist Cynthia Tom experimented with the surreal in whimsical forms. ...
An earlier work (circa 1990s), artist Cynthia Tom experimented with the surreal in whimsical forms. Yet still examining the subconscious. "What is it about actor Marlon Brando? Like him or not, what is it that makes him fascinating? What is the Magic?
The block letter could easily stir many words to mind to describe this actor's magnetism, whether you liked him or not. "M for Masculine M for Macho, or perhaps for Magic on the screen. What was it about the controversial star that made us watch him?
Cynthia even then was seeing things from that surrealist point of view that has only deepened and become more powerful over the years. Many of her earlier works examine the contrasts between Eastern and Western culture. While questioning these influences she also celebrated and still celebrates them, asking the audience to recognize the irony but also to see the beauty.
In this "fem i nine intuition" exhibit, Cynthia is presenting surreal images of women, their dresses and homes, floating in landscapes that could only exist in the realm of imagination. Yet for Cynthia her surrealistic skills are only trying to capture and understand the essence that makes a woman the powerful, yet vulnerable individual she is.
Madrigal's Tasting Salon and Gallery in picturesque downtown Sausalito is an ideal spot to feature the unique work of Cynthia's powerful artistic talent.
Abstract piece entitled  Maps of Consciousness.
Abstract piece entitled "Maps of Consciousness."
Courtesy of Cynthia Tom, artist
"fem i nine intuition" is the latest exhibit in Madrigal's Bay Area Art and Wine series.
"We are pleased that the exhibition features the work of the Bay Area native Cynthia Tom," said Chris Madrigal. He is founder and president of the Madrigal Family Winery. "We have wine, art and a gorgeous venue," he added. And few would want to miss that because, the tasting salon and gallery is situated amid one of the most breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay from the vantage point of Sausalito. The exhibit will be curated by Shiva Pakdel. Madrigal Winery has been featuring special exhibits of art and wine since Oct. of 2015. There have been more than 12 exhibits so far. And Pakdel is eager to present more. "Our celebration of creativity combined with signature Madrigal wines, has grown to become a monthly gathering for the wine and art lovers in Marin County. Our past art shows have included a variety of topics," she added. "Styles, techniques and varied-media- including oils, acrylic, photography, and exhibitions that focused on celebrated local Marin 'Plain Air artists' as well as Persian, Chinese, and Mexican themes presented by local artists. The exhibitions are a true labor of love."
An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 11th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. The exhibit is on view, starting from November 8th to December 12th. Visit the Madrigal Family Wine web site for more info. Also visit Madrigal's page on Facebook. "Stop by for a glass of our wine, said Pakdel and a look at Cynthia's amazing and thought-provoking art."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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