The gallery where Stephen Shellenberger has a new solo exhibition says the artist joked he’d make some “prettier” works for this show. The mixed media pieces at Sopa Fine Arts are indeed less political than his previous graffiti-style collages. But his fixation on stitching is a key element of both. (Above: Hollywood. 33 x 48″)
-Amsterdam, 32 x 30
I am fascinated with stitches. They remind me of how beautiful and ugly a deep cut can be when sewn together. I personally had many stitches (mostly in my face). The bruising and discoloration gradually fades, the swelling goes down, and when the stitches are removed, you see the tiny holes where they were. Beauty in the grotesque. –Artist Statement
-Beach, 52 x 56″
Stitching also represents repair; no matter how bad or ugly it is in the beginning, we have an amazing ability to heal.If the art of painting is dead, as some people believe, then maybe this is my way of trying to repair it. – Shellenberger’s Artist Statement
He uses only recycled material in his mixed media works: boat tarps, tablecloths, bedding and other remnants.
–Almost Blue, 29 x 34″
Shellenberger is a painter, filmmaker, playwright and actor who has exhibited in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. His last solo exhibition, “Walls of Perception,” was large-scale newspaper collages and photos of his street art installations. This short video (in French) of the exhibit at Galerie Pangee is worth a look.
“Journey,” his show of mixed media works at Sopa Fine Arts in Kelowna, B.C. runs through March 31.
Stephen Shellenberger’s website, here.
Artist C.V. here.