Katy Horan and Alexis Mackenzie
@Swarm Gallery, Oakland
Through February 27, 2011
A Saturday art opening at Swarm Gallery in Oakland, just a couple blocks from Jack London Square? Gotta arrive by boat. It's the only civilized way.
Swarm Gallery owner and Matt Gonzalez
Post opening drinks at...
This place... I don't know Oakland very well and was a tad drunk...
Steak Mtn. is Christopher Norris
Thanks for the good times and the ride, Mr. John Casey.
Swarm Gallery is pleased to present BLOOM & GLOOM, a two-person exhibition of new works on paper by Austin-based artist Katy Horan and SF-based artist Alexis Mackenzie.
Katy's work examines female roles and representation found throughout history, art and mythology. She pulls from a variety of sources, using mixed references and visual fragments to build new variations of familiar figures. Research plays a large role in Katy's work. She derives visual reference and ideas from film, literature, the Internet and countless other sources. She then filters and combines fragments of imagery and information absorbed from this research through an intuitive process. This allows her to explore subject matter and interests that range from Victorian spinsterhood to Renaissance portraiture to the archetypal witch figure.
Form, detail and gesture are also important aspects of her work. Solitary figures allow more focus on their interior structure and detail, which she intends to hold as much interest as the character itself. Historical costume has long interested her, and she uses these inner details to reference varied eras of dress and decoration. Similarly, she uses her character's postures and gesture to explore those found in art history and illustration. While external research informs each piece's narrative and concept, emphasis on form, detail and gesture inform its execution. Like Katy, Alexis Mackenzie's work is hand-composed from books she's been collecting over the years. Each piece is painstakingly pieced together as seamlessly as possible. They create themselves through a process beginning with a loose concept, followed by a series of trials and errors, subtle maneuvers, selection, elimination, harmonious unions, and happy accidents. It is a meditative process, with a great deal of decision-making behind each element.
The work for BLOOM & GLOOM is created using paper silhouettes remaining from the extracted images she uses in her other collage works. Moving outward to build lines, these non-figurative works are an interpretation of visual impressions; only the sense of how things appear, and the silent reverberations of intellectual and emotional associations with objects, surroundings, and encounters.
Alexis intends to portray the world as a flawed thing of beauty - a place that shines brightly, and has a dark side to match. Each work in the exhibition is at once identifiable and ambiguous, inviting the viewer's own imaginations and experiences to inform their interpretation.
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