I stumbled on the listing for Melodie Provenzano’s Stealth Peace exhibit (on now at Nancy Margolis Gallery) when I was looking for cool shows to add to last week’s art crawl, and was immediately attracted to her painting of the above image: a giant colorful bow. I love hyper-realism and the more I looked at the online preview, the more I knew this would be a must-see exhibit. I was not mistaken.
Stealth Peace, Provenzano’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, features a new series of highly detailed paintings of single objects and still lifes, all based on objects — toys, glassware, figurines, bows — the artist has collected herself. It is really quite charming and compelling, and I would recommend it especially for fans of Jeff Koons’ Banality series.
Melodie offers that her collections, “is a well of inspiration that I rely upon when composing the still lifes that I draw and paint from direct observation. The artworks are like a catalog of dreams with layers of meaning open to interpretation.”
She continues, “One may find impressions, reflections and sensations as various as the objects in them. The meanings are revealed through visual metaphors of the experiences that we share as human beings, dependent as much upon where the viewer is coming from as where I have been.”
Provenzano works on one painting at a time, making it her world until it’s completion, and her attention to detail in each work is just insane.
She even paints the shadows!
Paintings such as Heaven and Hell have a specific theme in contrast to Champbaby! (above), a straightforward, playful spin on the common found object – a full champagne glass spilling out miniature toy baby figurines.
In addition to her still life compositions, Provenzano paints singular objects, notably, the two largest paintings in the exhibition, Color Bow and Reign Bow, each 54” x 72”. Enlarged way beyond their normal size these otherwise mundane objects are imbued with a gorgeous powerful presence.
Nostalgia, memory, loss, a bygone era, these are the underlying themes of Provenzano‘s work. Bringing together her passion for collecting found objects, which eventually become the subject of her paintings, we see this melding into her art practice alongside a thoughtful searching with-in.
Melodie Provenzano’s Stealth Peace will be on Exhibit Through June 27th, 2015 at Nancy Margolis Gallery, Located at 523 W 25th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.