For Megan Wolfe, dry media has always felt more natural. “It’s easier to fall into,” she says, “while painting has always felt like more of a process.” A San Francisco-based artist known for her avian subject matter, Megan has long worked on hyperrealist, graphite drawings inspired by her own migration from Mississippi to sunny California. “There’s something to be said for dwelling in a medium for a long time,” Megan says, “but when you reach that place where you have so much control, it’s time to go discover something else.”
With that in mind, Megan transferred her natural energies from a well-honed graphite process to painting, which suited her move toward a more abstract style. Patron of the Arts (our partner site) is proud to present the first look at Megan’s transition in the online gallery.
“Reformation: Movement in Color” is Megan Wolfe’s first solo show of paintings, and we are excited for you to take a look at these ten originals and see for yourself how this promising artist has evolved in style, medium, and color (the originals can be viewed, here). In addition Patron of the Art’s is offering a very exclusive companion, limited edition Giclee print, of Megan’s work, which can be viewed and purchased, here.
Megan’s process reflects her identity as an artist: linear, logical, and organized. These qualities allow her to relinquish control in a measured way. The challenge for Megan was to feel as natural painting as she did drawing, which proved difficult at first. “My graphite drawings came from a very emotional place, initially born out of frustration, and I was searching for the same sensation of accessing those emotions, feeling raw, aggressive, intuitive.” Snapping a few photos of pigeons for references, she experimented with how dry and thick she could make the paint, and found she preferred kitchen and palette knives to a hard brush. The knives allowed her to carve and build up layers, and to access the raw emotional space she’s used to working in with a more visceral technique.
A self-described “closet goth” and fan of horror films, Megan had just finished buying a pile of horror DVD’s at a Mississipi Wal-mart when I spoke with her on the phone. Megan takes inspiration from the old masters of suspense and macabre, Poe and Hitchcock, to create birds with ominous depth. “With work that has a lot of flow and movement, the birds can look a little too beautiful,” she says. It’s safe to say that this is not the case with these birds; there’s something subtle and disturbing about them, and the same goes for the muted grey worlds they inhabit.
Perhaps it’s Megan’s response to the question, “Why pigeons?” Because they act like humans sometimes, waiting for a light to walk across the street, stepping into a restaurant only to take a look around and walk out again. They even gamble in the same way humans do, risking less if they’re well-off, and more if they are hungry, an evolutionary trait. We also breed pigeons for eating, and even have a term for its meat: squab. Megan chose pigeons as her subject matter because she was searching for an edge, and for a sense of the macabre without going overboard with skulls and gore.
Creepiness aside, this new group of paintings proves Megan to be a versatile, dynamic artist, with a clear understanding of both the conscious and subliminal aspects of her process, and the ability to intelligently use them to transcend mediums. “There’s a misconception in the art world that if you’re working in black and white, you are somehow inferior and can’t possibly do color,” Megan says. This is clearly not the case here. In the future, she plans to experiment with more “obnoxious” colors, such as manganese violet and bright greens.
Check out Megan’s ten paintings in the online gallery, here. All originals are priced at $300, and represent an important move for this up and coming contemporary artist. Next on her slate are several murals and group shows, such as one in Thinkspace Gallery coming up in Spring of 2012, and a community project with street artist Eddie Colla. She is also using this new body of work to prepare for gallery submissions.
- written by Maria Anderson with photos by Michael Cuffe for Warholian
You can find out more information on “Reformation: Movement in Color”, here.
About Patron of the Arts Gallery Project:
In 2011 Patron of the Arts launched the “Patron of the Arts: Online Gallery Project”. An exclusive online gallery, flush with emerging artists that are a solid investment, with targeted price points under $650; with the express purpose of providing beautiful, quality, original art at affordable prices.