we are fired up to cap off the year with a three person exhibition for tony hernandez, amanda talley and scott upton. all southern artists who are well-known and recognizable at first glance. one common denominator shared by each of the three artists is they found their voices and aesthetics early on in their artistic career and are still pushing the boundaries with their work. tony hernandez's exploration of the well cared for adolescent child adrift in the nondescript landscapes to scott upton's tranquil layered landscapes to the repeated patterns of amanda talley's lyrical abstracts, the work is compelling to the point where the viewer feels connected and has a hard time letting go.
requiem of the mind and wonder
requiem of mind and wonder reaches for both the palpable and abstract. hernandez has investigated these leitmotifs over the last several decades, working exclusively on handmade birch wood panels using the technically-demanding process of encaustic painting. while his works are simple visually, their psychological tone is complex. In these void landscapes, he portrays children unabridged, drawing on emotional gravity. With nothing to distract from the subject, the viewer is pulled into this land of childlike curiosity and fear. even with evident melancholy throughout the body of work, such as the boy in the dunce hat, reaching for his shadow, there is hope within his shadowed, crowned self. hernandez often uses doves to imply this sense of hope, as they represent a bridge from the despondent into the ethereal. with the painting of the doves sitting before a lounging girl, they seem guardian-like, protecting her from the trials that presumably surround her. in another painting, a girl adorns a deep red dunce cap while two doves perch on her forearms, depicting that thin divide between reality and imagination.
through his adroit portrayal of historical calamities and symbolism, hernandez has been contrasted with a litany of acclaimed artists, such as christian boltanski and anselm kiefer. even so, hernandez’s dexterity draws from his own instinct, which he developed after attending the art institute of atlanta as a high school student. after devoting himself to painting full-time in 1988, he distinguished his style further as he recognized that he paints for the primarily emotional connection. this disassociation from trends has allowed him to look inward before he looks outward, creating works that are overwhelming and frank. the art critic jerry cullum has said, "it’s rare to find an artist whose work functions so totally on a level that gives the subjective sensation of intellectual satisfaction without providing anything like an obvious conceptual agenda. his approach to figuration delivers a definable psychological impact, and that he does this with rather more complexity than most painters."
-grace ann leadbeater 2017
painting, for me, is an exercise in the transmutation of light and energy into a three dimensional plane. the reaction of colors and action mark-making are intended to transport the viewer to a realm of undulating vibrational rhythms. each painting represents my journey to a plane of consciousness that guides my brush and favors circular momentum. i offer my heart and hands to move in tandem with the consistent flow of intelligent infinity. inspiration is ever present and universal for those who choose to witness it. to create and to be a creative is the highest form of reciprocation to our creator.
-amanda talley 2017
taking inspiration from nature, this work is about the play of light and color.
how they dance together in pleasing sensual rhythms.
my painting process involves as much intuition as skill, and a surprising amount of sheer physical labor. to convey the emotional impact of change, time, weather, and light, i employ a wide range of techniques. i lay down rich fields of color, enhanced by many layers of transparent glazes. to intensify the effects of depth and mystery, i may use a foundation of metal leaf or applied textures. after building up a surface i then scar it or even scrape it away only to cover it over again with a new layer. i like “closing away” lower layers, except for scattered spots of color--a reminder that more is happening in a painting than what is perceived on the surface. i hope this process creates for the viewer a calm moment in which to reflect on what, in a larger sense, has been hidden from view.
-scott upton 2017
tony hernandez, amanda talley and scott upton will be at the opening friday night from 6-8 pm. all available paintings are on our website artists' page under each individual artist. click on their tab to view works and pricing. please call the gallery for additional information.