The idea for BURNAWAY originated from a front-porch conversation about the need for more local dialogue about contemporary art. Today’s edition of Our Front Porch is an online exhibition by Kelly Teasley, owner and curator of Young Blood Gallery and Boutique.
When asked to curate an online art show, I was excited but a little overwhelmed. Given pretty much no limitations as to price, size, or even if the artist was dead or alive, I didn’t know where to start. I sat in my studio one day and concentrated on the work that makes me love art and want to be surrounded by it.
I didn’t want to choose old masters of the past and even laughed when I imagined how they would act together at an opening. I wanted it to be somewhat realistic, a show that could actually happen, if not in my space or even in Atlanta, then somewhere else. I visualized a group of artists who are still alive and whose work is amazing and goes well together.
As a curator, I see so much work everyday. The trends come and go, so it’s easy to forget about art that’s not only good on a mental level—the ideas the work might mean or say—but also on a technical side, where the beauty comes into play. These four artists represent that mix of thought and craft, in an online exhibition I’ve titled The Beasts.
I first saw John Divola’s Dogs Chasing My Car series when I stumbled into a gallery in New York years ago. The images of blurred dogs made me want to dive for cover, but I couldn’t help standing in place to look at the beauty in their movement and snarl of teeth. He shot this series over a five-year period while driving through the desert. Divola has been showing work since the 70’s and is currently teaching at the University of California, Riverside.
I met Kevin Taylor through a mutual friend and have watched his work grow over the last several years. Every time I’m amazed by his new work, he’s always working on something that pushes it even more. Though once hailing from Atlanta’s Southern neighbor, Charleston, South Carolina, he now calls San Francisco his home.
Although I haven’t been able to see Josh Keye’s work in real life, I’ve been stalking it online for years, always checking his website for new work and an exhibit closer to home. He now lives in Portland, Oregon.
I fell in love with local artist James Way’s horses long before I met him in person. When I finally figured out his studio was located right below my gallery, I was excited at the thought of those giant horses just hanging out near me every day.
Our Front Porch is a series inviting guest contributors to share thoughts on local art for open discussion with you, our readers.