Currently, there are two exhibitions at the Beverly Art Center in Chicago. One is “Wired Transcendence, ” a combination of my recent work, and the other is “Chatter Box,” a group show. Carla Winterbottom curated my show and “Chatterbox” was curated by Bruce Thorn.
My show is in the Atrium Space downstairs. My recent series of paintings address birds as a metaphor for myself. I am a migratory spirit. I had a nomadic upbringing—I grew up with a single mom who relocated often. As a result, I went to many different schools and still have a hard time making attachments and growing roots. I’m constantly looking up: birds hover above the concerns of everyday life. For me, they are a link to the sublime.
I communicate the beauty of decay by adding and subtracting paint as well as collage elements. I build up luscious surfaces through glazing techniques. Transparent layers of paint become luminous veils of color.
I convey the effects of time through my palette, which is infused with colors derived from nature. My choice of color palette is influenced by lichens that grow on cracked rock faces, boulders, and the north side of trees. In my work, there are harmonious notes of color: sage, mint and olive greens, organic grays and brick reds. I also create the effects of patina by collaging oxidized bits of copper and other precious metals within transparent layers of oil paint.
I tend to render images of birds on telephone wires because they remind me of musical notes on a scale. I work with bird silhouettes because they enable me to play with figure/ground relationships. From a design standpoint, bird silhouettes give me the freedom to juxtapose positive and negative space. Through symbolic colors, gestural brush strokes, inventive mark making, and textural applications of paint, I project my reactions to the subjects I explore onto the canvas. Thus, I channel my emotions into contemplative arrangements that deal not only with metaphorical content, but also address formal concerns through a sensitive rendering of surface and design elements.
The “Chatterbox” exhibition in the Bridge Gallery upstairs is a group show of work by the following artists: Phillip Capuano, Michelle Stone, Steven Linson Leavitt, Kathleen King, Michael Miller, David Richards and Bruce Thorn.
“Chatterbox fiction brings together seven Chicago based artists who work with various degrees of abstraction.They explore and create imaginary form and space, inspired by natural, organic and social realms.Their artworks are complex, historically aware and well crafted. Chatterbox Fiction is a treasure house of subtle metaphor and similes.” — Carla Winterbottom
For more information, visit the BAC website: