Extraordinary Machine, an exhibit that recently closed at Wm Turner Gallery, showcased the work of two young artists, Corinne Stevie Francilus and Kendrick Daye. According to publicity materials, “imagination meets mechanism” within this show. Reading this, I immediately related it to Fiona Apple’s song that is also titled “Extraordinary Machine.” I later learned the show was indeed inspired by this song.
The gallery space was divided equally between the two artists. Corinne Stevie Francilus’ work, which varied in media and construction, hung on the left wall. Her paintings revealed obvious music and pop culture influences, with rather surreal imagery ranging from speaker boobs to Nike sneaker hearts. Francilus’ work seemed uninhibited and subconsciously driven. The paintings’ colors related in a fantastical way; every work exploded with a strong range of greens and violets. Since the paintings each varied in style, they didn’t appear to belong to a single series; rather, they seemed to come from different times throughout the artist’s career. As a whole I found Francilus’ work gave me a certain unexplainable comfort that made me want to stay longer and look more.
Kendrick Daye’s mixed media work was installed on the right side of the gallery. His work, which ran the gamut from illustration to photography, seemed to give insight into his personal narrative and those of others, too. Looking at the work was almost like peering into the pages of Daye’s journal. The photographs stood out, presumably because they were more confrontational than his other work. Daye had photographed people holding signs with confessional statements on them like “I hate Atlanta” and “I give people wrong directions on purpose”. His photo collages were by far my favorite works in the show. Their almost graphic yet emotive style effectively translated an Atlanta vibe into visual form.
The intuitive quality of both the artists’ work surprised me, and I look forward to seeing more from each of them. Since the art market is sometimes motivated by decorative considerations, I found this show’s unaffected qualities refreshing.
Kendrick Daye and Corinne Stevie Francilus are both editors of Art Nouveau, an online arts and culture magazine based in Atlanta. Look out for Wm Turner’s next show, JacQueline Sanchez: Forever Young, opening tomorrow night Thursday, July 30, from 6-9PM.