Jeff Mihalyo & Kellie Talbot
Thursday, May 7th from 6-9pm
AXIS | Pioneer Square
308 1st Ave S Seattle, WA 98104
Surrealist Jeff Mihalyo and photorealist Kellie Talbot are here to mess with your reality. One plumbs the depths of his imagination, dredging up dreamscapes and exotic scenes where every floating fish is a symbol, and every color is a crescendo. The other sticks strictly to reality, where she plunks us down onto the tarmac of some quiet American highway in paintings that make us focus on the tools, signs, buildings and materials that are wrought and forgot. And Bherd Studios has brought these two classical painters together—in the same room—this May at AXIS Gallery. (Your head may never be the same.)
Kellie Talbot brings the smell of gas and the tang of rust to the room in her large oils on canvas that depict the peeling paint, neon tubes and flickering bulbs of the American dream. Staking out old signs, derelict factories, and rust belt beauty, she lovingly recreates their every detail, honoring and preserving them in paintings that are both portraits and memento mori. For this exhibit, Talbot focuses on signs and scenes from her recent New Orleans artist residency, and debuts a brand new series of still lifes. The new series is a personal challenge to limit her palette to only four primary colors. Humble tools and everyday detritus from the back of the garage are set against the elegant black drapery of classic still life paintings, becoming objects of veneration.
Jeff Mihalyo invites us to dive into his subconscious with a dizzying array of sculpture and paintings, in candy colors so sweet they’ll make your teeth hurt. Mihalyo’s large-scale oils on canvas are doors into drowned cities and jeweled forests, places where buildings can be killed or lofted into the sky on a kite string. His luminous colors are achieved by the old-school technique of building the thinnest and more translucent of layers, allowing light to travel all the way down to the canvas and reflect back, making each work seem almost crystalline in its intensity. Mihalyo also presents his ongoing cast-egg paintings: little conical bullseyes made of layers of paint, made by carefully filling egg-shells with everything from discarded acrylic or Latex™ house paint. Mihalyo will also be presenting a video that he and his collaborator, Marcus Donner created by taking old home-movies and animations Mihalyo created as a kid, projecting them onto his beard and setting it to music.