Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Stephanie Galloway

"Where Have All The Heroes Gone?", 11x14 collage

Children tend to play with all the intensity and urgency of a serious job. Brilliant energy virtually explodes from their warm little bodies – all directed toward expressing curiosity and individual responses to the world around them.

The work of Stephanie Galloway echoes that serious, playful expression. She keeps things very simple – her collage pieces draw on just a few powerful images, and her mixed media drawings maintain the innocence of someone who hasn’t had any formal art training. Examples of both are on view now through November 7 at Milagros Coffeehouse and Gallery, and a more complete viewing will be available at her reception October 21, from 6 to 8 pm.

Those intrigued by the selection currently on exhibit will find much more to explore at the reception. An expanded collection of collage works further defines her style – obscure photos and images, placed with an eye for both serenity and imbalance. Each piece is copied larger than the original, lending a sense of commemoration. With the conviction of a child, Galloway believes in the monumental significance of shared notions. Cultural icons like Amelia Earhart and Georgia O’Keefe make powerful statements about heroism, liberty, and – with the timeless quality of collage – the balance between individuality and interdependence.

In each collage, fragments float with an odd sense of displacement and belonging; the whole piece captures the sense that we as humans are hovering between the sacred and the mundane, slightly lost and exactly where we should be. These images are meant to give you something to think about – they give your mind something to seriously play with.

Galloway’s totem animal series will also be on display October 21. This body of work is most reminiscent of her Santa Fe upbringing – her father is an art photographer there, and she started her education very young, with long family walks down Canyon Road. These mixed media works evoke the American Indian tradition of abstraction: different and surprising colors tell more truth about the soul and purpose of an animal than a realistic rendering.

Picasso was known for his conscious return to a more childlike way of art making. Like his work, Galloway’s art approaches challenging topics with a mixture of subtlety and jarring vision. At the same time, the innocent and playful portrayal is an equally strong reminder to lighten up a little – laugh with delight at the whole parade passing by.


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12:04 PM  

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