Monday, January 11, 2010

Love & Heartbreak: new works by Katy Keefe and Samuel Payne @ The Metro Gallery

“Love & Heartbreak: new works by Katy Keefe and Samuel Payne”
January 14 through February 27 2010
Opening Reception: January 14 at 7pm
Metro Gallery

Intensely personal and layered with texture, Keefe’s paintings, drawings and photographs are inspired by the romantic, as an answer to Payne’s heart-wrenching, violent paintings and works-on-paper inspired by heartbreak and scorn. Despite the immediate contradictory nature of the two perspectives, the works are thematically united under the auspices of passion, devotion and enlightenment. Using totems and hero worship, Keefe glorifies while Payne simultaneously destroys. The dense works of the two artists are aesthetically complex compositions constructed meticulously of accumulating detail and narratives. The work is both genuinely personal and universally metaphorical. Keefe and Payne utilize their joint belief in the constant presence of separation and division to establish a dialogue regarding heaven and hell, the dichotomy of brokenness, and the question of power and rule in daily life. “Love & Heartbreak” is an exhibition of journeys, failures, enlightenment, and common experience.

Katy Keefe is a Chicago artist working in painting, drawing and installation. Her new Love series comes from recent enlightenment that begins with a singular person and extends to an entire population. Drawing on patterns of hope, growth and defeat, they address the truth self: one that can be filled with struggle while simultaneously projecting true love. Her brightly colored paintings are a kaleidoscope of plant life, earthy soils, depictions of her recent lover and natural psychedelic experiences found in the woods. These works exist to inspire, awe and transport. The Love series is a reconfigured reality lush with stimulation.

Samuel Payne is a Seattle-based artist working in painting, video, and installation. His new Heartbreak series takes the struggle of American ideals of lovesick cowboy notions and intermingles them with his own emotional turmoil. Traveling the American soil has become a vital aspect of Payne’s artistic process and manifests as a patchwork in his new work. Stacks of cowboy hats, heartbroken maidens, cacti, and narrative structures involving figures such as Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and the like are a few of his inspirations. The Heartbreak series is constructed with a particular brand of airiness and humor, owing to Paynes’ uniquely complicated style.