SYLVIA, SYLVIA

Featuring Gerald Lovell

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Born in 1992 in Chicago, IL, to Puerto Rican, and African American parents—Gerald Lovell, uses his artistic practice as a means to self-discovery, and self-articulation. Lovell began his career as an artist after dropping out of the graphic design program at the University of West Georgia as an undergraduate, realizing his need to embrace a new creative path. This epiphany Lovell had in 2014 was his point of departure from a more formal to informal and unorthodox mode of artistic production . . . as he later emerged as a self-taught artist, showing his work on the Atlanta art scene and beyond. Over the last four years, Lovell’s portraits have become increasingly complex, as he has embodied meaning into his usage of altering painting styles, noting how “painting in three dimensions best conveys my narrative. The thicker the paint, the more emphasis on the object.” As of late, his use of the impasto painting style has been more so to emphasize the body—applying the interspersed impasto technique as a variation in style meant to distinguish between the human subjects, and the material objects in his work.

All works presented here were created between 2017, and the present, and provide the first exclusive survey of Lovell’s current artistic production. Sylvia, Sylvia, 2019 for which this exhibit is titled, features the artist’s grandmother and sister (both named Sylvia), casually reclining on a bed in the grandmother’s home, depicting an intimate moment amongst family. Slight disruptions of these intimate moments are what provides these works with a narrative component—with sitters returning a reciprocal gaze, as though the viewer has been introduced to their space. Another work that expands this notion of being invited into the sitters’ space is Jaycina & Syx, 2019, the artist’s largest work to date—where he presents a redolent depiction of a mother and child, as central figures foregrounding the picturesque view of a local park in the fall. Other works in the show feature close acquaintances of the artist, and a few individuals he has engaged in passing who evoked a sense of nostalgia, and further articulated his sense of community.

-Faron Manuel, Collaborator/Writer

 
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