A Breach of Peace
August 8th, 6-11pm
More than an artist, Chelsie Kirkey is a story teller. More than the urge to paint, Kirkey has the urge to tell her stories. She paints in small series, using self-portraiture to essentially tell autobiographical short stories.
Kirkey writes about the work: “The paintings in ‘A Breach of Peace’, tell a story of an unexpected hardship. A dark storm that knocked my heart out in one blow, hurled my soul across the sky and sent my spirit whirling through a space where time did not exist. I have muddled through other storms where I could trace their place of origin back to my own heart, but this was different. I felt as if an outside force was waging war within me, working strenuously to tie me down and tape my spiritual eyes closed. The peace that God had bestowed so generously to me had been breached and I experienced sorrow like I had never experienced it before.
But you can’t see the light unless you stand in darkness, and it wasn’t long before grace swooped in like a flashlight, reminding me that no matter how awful this felt, that nothing could ever steal my peace - that it was simply hidden in the shadows, and that nothing could ever separate me from the love of God. This was a defining moment in my lifelong process of spiritual growth. It was in this moment that I realized that faith is beyond powerful, and with it, nothing could ever bring me down.”
Chelsie Kirkey (b. 1987) is an American artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Figurative and made with careful composition, her paintings, often self-portraits, invite the viewer to witness captured, intimate moments of home life, and offer personal reflections of both body and spirit. Employing photography as a reference for many of her paintings, her process to create is thought-out and meticulous. Recurring motifs in her work include floral and woven patterns, fine details, and rich colors that evoke a sense of romanticism and time and place.
July 11th, 6-11pm
Steven Miller’s photographs in Offerte (offerings in Italian) are simple enough: the series documents gay porn magazine pages from the 70s through 90s burning in a backyard fire pit. But the combination of nakedness, desire, and all-consuming fire creeping across the images conjures up metaphors for love and loss through the AIDS years, and a timely reminder that pleasure, like knowledge, is a profound form of power. Miller writes about the work, "The scenes of unabashed lust and longing in Offerte aren't hell. Perhaps the photographs look superfically Catholic and recriminatory in their imagery, but there's no suffering here—only pleasure. These moments of desire and flames exist in a sort of purgatory, a cleansing by fire to finally sit by the side of the Gods."