In this newest body of work, Kelly McKernan continues to explore her psychological responses to the stresses and struggles of reality. While much of her previous work commented on the consequences of using idealism as a coping mechanism, “Fight or Flight” takes a more direct and personal approach by addressing these responses in terms of biological survival tactics.
Each work for this show combines a Van Dyke photographic print of a female subject along with a variety of other imagery created with watercolor and gouache. McKernan allows the photograph to remain as the only realistic element in the painting, forcing the female guise to represent the sole form of unalterable reality within her artificial surroundings and interactive symbolic characters.
McKernan aims to use her work to investigate the ways in which her own reactions to reality choose to manifest themselves, in effect making each piece a subtle self-portrait. The initial photograph is created to respond to a situation by either fighting or flying, but this response is not known until the work is completed. By immersing herself as a protagonist and creating a world around herself with a stream-of-consciousness approach, she is then able to reinterpret this imagery in terms of how she herself would respond in real life situations.
Kelly McKernan is an artist and illustrator from Atlanta, Georgia whose work has been included in a number of exhibitions around the globe. This is her first solo showing with Beep Beep Gallery.
April 10 – May 2 2010
Beep Beep Gallery | Atlanta