“Songs for the Witch Woman,” a Collection of Rare Art by Counterculture Icon Cameron
Artist/occultist Marjorie Cameron, who went by simply Cameron as a salute to her Navy days, was hardly famous during her heyday. Better known for being the widow of rocket scientist and Thelemic follower Jack Parsons, Cameron was known to locals as being eccentric and “witchy,” who drove around in a hearse and participated in “sex magick” ritual parties with L.Ron Hubbard. But unbeknownst to most, she was a revolutionary icon who ignited the counterculture L.A. art scene. She wrote poetry, was a recognizable style icon, and even acted in underground films, one of them being Night Tide with Dennis Hopper, where she played–you guessed it–a sea witch.
However, after a bad experience with an art gallery (it was raided by police who deemed her work too obscene), she vowed to never show her work to the public again. Many of her drawings and paintings were later burned in a form of mental “suicide.” What was salvaged were pieces that friends, family, and serious art collectors had kept and protected over the years. These 91 pieces of rare art, most of which have never been seen by the public, are now on display at MOCA Pacific Design Center. Her work, which ranges from handwritten poetry to drawings of angels and demons, captures the elusive world of a visionary. Although Cameron intentionally chose a life of obscurity, this exhibition, as well as a new book available, proves that interest in her life and work will only continue to grow.