Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kelly Vivanco's "Springs to Mind"

Raised among Beatrix Potter’s woodland creatures in a nest of drawing supplies somewhere in Southern California, Kelly Vivanco grew up with a confident hand, an acute sense of color and a wealth of playful intuition. Seeking to express a childlike perception of endless possibility, she paints a mysterious world in which young people and charismatic animals are busily engaged in their lives. Although her work brings to mind the great children’s illustrators of the turn of the century, its vintage storybook sensibility is made contemporary by the self-possessed attitude and quirky style of her subjects. In many of her paintings, it is the eyes that captivate the viewer — they are deep, glistening pools of emotion that can evoke a narrative in a glance. Yet her goal is to leave their meaning open to interpretation, so as to allow an infinite potential of stories and associations to unfurl.

"Cushion Tree"

In her most recent body of work, which she has titled “Springs to Mind,” Kelly explores a secret place where both water and imagination flow freely — where random chance and make-believe intertwine. There we find intrepid heroines, voyagers and dreamers roaming among forest streams, stairwells, tree houses and enchanted pools. Gazing into their lambent eyes in the perpetual twilight, we are visited by that feeling of empathy and wonder that sparks the imagination to life.

Kelly Vivanco's first major solo exhibition, "Springs to Mind,"opens at Thinkspace Gallery on February 5th. You'll need to come out to appreciate her woodland installation, miniature house sculptures, and the magnificence of her largest painting to date.

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