Report From the Front: Artists reception at Kelly Stelling Contemporary

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MANCHESTER, NHKelley Stelling Contemporary presents the work of four artists whose divergent techniques and themes challenge perceptions about art. Though provocative, the works possess an underlying social engagement that makes them immediate and relevant to current events.

Opening Reception for Report From the Front: November 16th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. through December 10, 2017.

James Chase is the Program Coordinator for Fine Arts, Humanities & Languages at Manchester Community College, an Adjunct Instructor of Fine Arts at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, as well as a board member for Rochester Museum of Fine Arts. His work explores ideas of collection, repetition, memory and loss. The collection of found objects is a means of mentally mapping out time and place. The layering, stacking, and painting of materials references the accumulation of memories (and the objects that represent them) and the ways in which memories can be altered, replaced, or forgotten over time.

Alfredo Martinez is a New York based artist whose eccentric and transgressive art projects have stirred controversy and landed him in jail, where he continued to create art work. His notorious Jean Michel Basquiat forgeries were inspired by Picasso’s observation “Art is a lie that brings us closer to the truth.” His current body of work focuses on images of guns, drawn and painted in an anatomical fashion that forces the viewer to regard them as ordinary objects devoid of loaded meaning. His work “Prison Drawing (Gun) MDC4JF53814054 G18W5” is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NYC.

New Hampshire Magazine featured Trissa Tilson as one of the state’s “Remarkable Women Artists to Watch in 2017”. In addition to creating fine art, Trissa is a tattoo artist who owns DeathMau Studios in Littleton. She is a lover of “lowbrow, tattoo, pop-surrealism, surrealism and anything out of the ordinary.” Her most current project is a large body of work illustrating animals that have gone extinct in the last 100 years. She states: “I’d like people to realize that, to be beautiful, art doesn’t need to be pretty.”

New Orleans resident John Isiah Walton uses humor and irony to provide “stinging social commentary”. His series “Zulu” was a series of paintings of American political figures in blackface like the Krewe of Zulu. His painting style consists of fast, loose brush strokes. His work has been exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles, and Tokyo. Notable exhibitions include the solo exhibitions “Beaucoup Humidity” in 2015 curated by Diego Cortez: and “God Willing” in 2016: both at P339 Gallery in New York.

Kelly Stelling Contemporary is located at 221 Hanover St. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can join the event via Facebook.