New Portraits on Display
Art Opening: March 7 from 5-7 PM
Living Fire Gallery
1119 W Drake Rd, Fort Collins, CO 80526
Subtle lines and careful attention to detail combine with bold, Warhol-like colors in Melissa Carmon's show, LOOK. Crafted with poetic line work, the arresting portraits bring together a Renaissance regard for form with Post-Impressionist color theories to create emotionally compelling likenesses of the subjects. This departure from Carmon's previous approach to more formal portraiture fuses together disparate eras of art history and theory.
Using non-native colors, Carmon composes each portrait out of a limited color palette as a study in the interrelationships between the given color’s hues and values. The background color of the paper dips in and out of the subject’s skin tones, tying together foreground and background of the pieces. Form is not sacrificed, despite the flat, graphic appeal of the work, and in some of the portraits the faces display a sculptural dimensionality.
In addition to the emotional and aesthetic use of color in Carmon’s portraits, the artist explores color phenomena that relate to our neurological perceptual apparatus. In Portrait of Brooke, the eyes of the subject appear brown to most viewers, even though none of the colors used in the portrait mix to form a brown shade. In Portrait of Steven, the blue and purple skin tones of the subject are accepted by most viewers as feeling compelling, and surprisingly normal.
Carmon’s work draws upon her extensive studies in the field of color theory. The theory of simultaneous contrast, first articulated by the French scientist, Michel Chevreul, and studies in the relativity of color, following the work of Joseph Albers, are cited as two of the artist’s primary influences.
Carmon’s interest in color has lead to works that are both scientifically interesting as well as technically astute. Along with the color portraits, examples of the artist's accurate and expressive line work are included in the 25-piece show.
Melissa Carmon's artwork will be on display March 7 through April 5, 2015