Ancient Messenger Receives a Modern Makeover

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Annette Wimmer’s “Mercury Rising.”
Annette Wimmer’s “Mercury Rising.”

By Susan Anderson, Special to the Independent

Artist Annette Wimmer unveiled her latest work, “Mercury Rising,” among friends at a reception earlier this at her painting studio and salon in Laguna Beach.

Wimmer moved to Laguna Beach from Munich after marrying Paul Brian in 1985. She had just graduated from Design School Munich, a department of the German Master School for Fashion. Anxious to start a career in art but on her own terms, Wimmer found a unique solution, painting in the local couple’s salon inbetween shampoos and cuts.

Even at age 11, Wimmer was recognized for her talent, and won a citywide art competition. She took early inspiration from the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.

Now Wimmer has developed a collector base and has been featured in various juried exhibitions, including the Festival of Arts in 2012.

“Mercury Rising,” rationally composed and organized around repeat motifs, including spirals and hexagons, is an allegory about telecommunications. Each visual element is chosen to further a narrative, expressing the idea that communications are a rising force in today’s world. By a combination of crisply detailed forms and the expert counterfeiting of the material surfaces of honeycomb, shell, or leaf, Wimmer deceives our eyes into believing the reality of what is rendered, whether factual or imaginary. She seeks to show the interrelated nature of all things and how the invisible informs the visible.

Wimmer began to take this more allegorical approach to her art about six years ago, building on her primary interest in depicting the natural world of plants, ladybugs, bees, hummingbirds, clouds, flowers, and animals in a benign phantasmagoric setting.

Her private, fantastic world, inspired by her home and garden in the hillsides of Laguna Beach, is so convincingly presented that the extraordinary is made both plausible and inviting. Wimmer’s talent and welcoming attitude were on full display at the recent anniversary party. Her friends were finally able to see the painting she had been revealing in small details intermittently over nine months on social media. Mercury, the Roman god of messages, eloquence, and trade, and the central motif of Wimmer’s painting, would certainly approve.

The author is an independent curator and art historian who lives in Aliso Viejo.

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