Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ken Taylor, Martin Ansin, Rich Kelly "A Distant Winter" Show at Phone Booth Gallery tonight

Phone Booth Gallery is proud to present “A Distant Winter,” a three-person exhibition of work by Ken Taylor, Martin Ansin and Rich Kelly, each of whom will contribute a series of limited edition prints, and original paintings. The opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, June 23rd from 7-10pm. This all-ages event will take place at Phone Booth Gallery’s exhibition space, 2533 East Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803. All three artists will be in attendance. The exhibition will remain on view through July 24, 2012, at both the exhibition space and on

“A Distant Winter” opens in the heat of summer, the season that makes SoCal feel murkiest and most stifling. But the exhibition conjures up images of frigid terrains, risk-taking and adventure. Melbourne-based artist Ken Taylor, a prolific illustrator and designer, makes exquisitely detailed, bold fantasy and merges his interest in the otherworldly with his interest in nature. Flora and fauna appear in his renderings of stoic heroines, who look like mythic beings from a fantastic future.

Martin Ansin’s smart graphics, which have recently appeared in Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and elsewhere, collapse whole stories into single, simple and striking scenes. For this show, he muses about Alaskan wilderness through a triptych in which red billowing flags and futuristic vehicles interrupt an expanse of wintery white ground. Figures in heavy red and white uniforms prepare to launch their sleek machines.

Rich Kelly, whose highly stylized, comic comments on pop culture often appear in posters for bands like Flight of the Concords or the Hold Steady, considers iconic adventurers, particularly Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. The two men were the first to set foot conclusively on the peak of Mount Everest. Despite constant public debate over which of the two was really first to the top and a few public disagreements over what actually happened in the last leg of the climb, Hillary and Norgay remained friends for life.

Thus, “A Distant Winter” weaves together multiple ideas of distance, closeness and coldness. Factual circumstances coexist with imaginary ones and the careful artistry of Taylor, Ansin and Kelly is as cool as any expanses of white snow could ever be.

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