opening week is here again and we have been working hard to get ready for the may gallery crawl happening this friday, may 3rd from 6-8 pm. three incredible exhibitions for southern artists jacob cooley, sarah helser and kiki slaughter who have such diverse subject matters. jacob, sarah and kiki have each found their distinct visual voices and continue to delve deeper into the worlds they have created within their paintings. jacob cooley new pool paintings take his minimal approach to the landscape and push it further than his iconic marsh scenes pairing the elements down to only what is necessary. sarah helser’s world focuses on the figure, flora and fauna. her deep imagination feeds her unique compositions each layer adding another level of the story. kiki slaughter uses color and form to evoke emotions in her vibrant abstract paintings. layering and texture are key elements utilized to build the surfaces on her canvases.
about a year ago, i started looking at richard diebenkorn’s ocean park series and ed ruscha’s photographs of pools. i was out in los angeles, a place i’ve painted many times in the past. I began seeing ruscha’s and diebenkorn’s imagery in the california landscape around me. the ocean, the glittering and sunlit hills. in the built landscape and the swimming pools. I began thinking about how pools effortlessly liberate us from gravity. the calming embrace of water. in los angeles i began seeing the compositions: aquamarine water glowing against a lavender shadow in brilliant, reflected light. a minimalist interplay of hard edges and conceptual shapes.
the resulting landscapes and pool paintings are abstractions. they are insinuations of space. not literal landscapes; they are the essence of places - more about a sense of color or light than an actual location. about being blue as much as being water. these paintings are about minimalism and quietude, about the embrace of water and the ephemeral hum of a shifting sky. they are paintings with just enough information to embody the abstract spirit of a landscape.
-jacob cooley 2019
jacob cooley was born in 1968. he received an mfa in painting from the university of north carolina at chapel hill in 1993 and graduated in 1990 with a bfa from the university of georgia, athens. he studied at antioch college in yellow springs, ohio from 1986 to 1988. his paintings are informed by harmonious and hallowed places, landscapes about contemplation and the spirit, but also about the transient, ephemeral characteristics of light and darkness and ultimately of life. jacob cooley's work attempts to capture and hold the instant when the orange of the sun is about to completely scatter into the diffused light of dusk or the thunderclouds move to entirely obscure the horizon. cooley has received numerous awards and reviews of his work are included in major publications. his paintings are collected nationally by museums, corporations and private collectors.
“perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away” - antoine de saint-exupery
sarah helser was born in high point, north carolina in 1980. she spent her formative years on a farm where she enjoyed the beauty and solitude of nature. her childhood and young adulthood has had a major influence on her creativity as an artist. sarah went on to study fine arts at the university of north carolina, greensboro, where she refined her interests by focusing on the figure and the use of alternative mediums. sarah’s work is meant to express the beauty of the world around her, weaving together both realistic and abstract forms.
i paint as a way to make definite the combination of both experience and the deeply personal reflections of the imagination. i approach each painting with an openness, letting it become fully changed from any initial concept. completely understanding a narrative while i create is not important. instead i allow the imagery to lead me, a conversation that illuminates and pulls at the hidden longings and beauty of the heart. using layering and multiple mediums, each painting forms and reforms until it comes into its own organic completion. i myself am often surprised by its outcome.
these new works are an exploration of the emotional links between humans and the living creatures that surround us and make up our existence. though they are so different, my hope is that the paintings hung together show how beautifully paired we are with the world around us. the combination of both realistic and abstract techniques offers something that feels both whimsical and equally grounded. this entanglement of nature and pulse combined with the layering of color, pattern and loosely sketched markings is meant to give the viewer a fresh and dreamy glimpse of something hidden in the mundane.
-sarah helser 2019
kiki slaughter grew up in charlottesville, va and studied painting at the university of virginia. she lives in atlanta and her studio is a 377 square foot industrial space at the goats farm arts center. she pours, scrapes, layers and otherwise manipulates paint on the canvas to create works that are rich in both color and texture. kiki is also very inspired by her visual surroundings. she strives to interpret and record her impressions of the world around her through her use of color and texture. although her works are entirely abstract, each piece maintains subtle characteristics from its source of inspiration. in 2012 she was named a southern tastemaker by garden & gun magazine.
i've battled chronic illness for the past four years. like the healing process, my paintings have many layers. through color, texture and numerous coats of paint, i express the essence of practices that have helped me heal, including acupuncture, reiki and kundalini. these methods and tools are my muses, and i’m excited to share them with you through my art. i hope they speak to you as much as they have inspired me.
words aren't my medium, paint is; this collection is dedicated to healing.
-kiki slaughter 2019
all available work by each artist can be viewed on the artist page of our site under the artist's individual tab. click on the artist image to see all work including sizing and pricing. the opening reception is friday, may 3rd from 6-8 pm. please call the gallery if you have any further questions.