Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Salina Ellis presents Grace Weston

I fell in love with this artist! She constructs staged vignettes for her photographs using different kinds of props including small toys. Her photographs are vibrant and full of color, enticing the observer to take a closer look. Once the viewer investigates, they find that the colors and toys are subversive tools used to illustrate issues such as couples therapy and identity crisis, among others. In many ways her work reminds me of Mark Ryden, one of my favorite painters. His work also uses idyllic images of children in ways that counter their inherent innocent nature.

The piece above, “Couples Therapy”, appears at once humorous and just a little macabre.The bright colors she uses attract viewers and beg for a closer look. But after further investigation the image lays bare the seemingly complex nature of couple relationships.

The next piece, “Choice”, also conveys a simple truth for what sometimes appears to be complicated situations for many people. Many times in life we are faced with what we feel are difficult choices, but at the core of each alternative, we find the essence of what each option represents.

The themes that Grace Weston addresses are universal. They may or may not be subjects that she has experienced herself, but are no doubt topics that many people will understand immediately and relate to. Her art imparts a sense of understanding that I think many people will find reassuring. While it is very easy to interpret, there is still room for the viewer to bring their own history to the work and fill in the gaps.

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