As an artist whose illustrations have natural fluidity, it’s no wonder that Kelly Vivanco found herself painting water in “Peculiar Tides”. Her latest solo at Thinkspace gallery has a water theme, an element that has captured our imagination for centuries. Water is a source of life and vitality, doomed disasters, bold adventure stories and some of the world’s most curious mysteries. Telling its story is an undertaking felt by Vivanco’s roughly 40 paintings created over 8 months, sculptures, and a narrative starring childlike heroines that vaguely resemble the artist. We find them accompanied by strange creatures in enchanted forests and swamps, to breezy seaside docks and ships helmed by mermaids.
Inspired by animation, fairytales and her own memories, Vivanco’s artwork comes to life in a way that you can almost hear and smell, but it is also other-worldly. This is a rare quality in her style of illustration that is more graphic, her characters outlined in black, with gradual depictions of light. For this show, her settings are intensified and depict a range of warm and cool hues suggesting the passage of time and weather. Perhaps the most “peculiar” part of all is not in her theme, but in her ability to make the unreal feel familiar somehow.
Kelly Vivanco with her painting on opening night.
In the project room, Curiot exhibits new pieces matched with a blue, watery mural in “Moktulen Kingdom”. His approach is more eclectic, experimenting with surreal imagery and mythical woven craft and visuals influenced by his Mexican heritage. Curiot’s experience as a street artist is evident in the way he boldy incorporates abstract elements onto large scale works. His paintings depict hybrid creatures in cutaway scenes that reveal their movement between the supernatural and real world. It’s a high energy mix of personal symbolism that compliments Vivanco’s show in both palette and imaginativeness.
“Peculiar Tides” by Kelly Vivanco is on view at Thinkspace Gallery through October 4th.