Andrew Bell Discusses ‘The Great Escape’

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The world of Escape has been without sustainable natural resources for generations, over the years it has slowly become a closed system. The sole remaining source of energy for the inhabitants of Escape is that which is contained within themselves and their existing ecosystem. The ancients of Escape devised a system to harvest that energy which is then stored in liquid and crystalline forms for redistribution. Any waste of that energy, either through malicious actions or accidental deaths, is considered most shameful.

Citizens of Escape are expected to make an honorable sacrifice of their own energy to be harvested at the end of their lives, some families may even sacrifice their youngest children if they are unable to support their existing energy needs. Consume more energy than you are worth, and soon you or your loved ones are marked for judgement.

 A thriving black market energy trade endangers the future of Escape.

On a personal level, the themes and imagery of “the Great Escape” chronicles some of my attempts to free myself from the disabling traps of past emotions and memories, to accept a new reality, and to move on from a love and a life left behind.

 The Great Escape opens Friday, April 6th, with a reception from 6 to 9pm.

Stranger Factory
109 Carlisle Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

This double show also features the work of Kelly Denato, and her own personal take on the title “The Great Escape”.

[via Creatures In My Head]

This Week, We Make Our Escape!

First Friday is fast approaching in the Duke City which means the opening of our next exhibition: Andrew Bell and Kelly Denato’s The Great Escape! How ’bout some fresh visual stimuli to continue on with the goodness from last week? Above! Love, death and life collide in a beautiful painting from Kelly, while things get a little heated in a sketch from Andrew, below.

The Great Escape opens THIS FRIDAY at the Factory! Both artists will be hanging out with us for the reception from 6pm to 9pm — stop by for the show and stay for the shenanigans!

Mandi had a Little Lamb …

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With Monsters & Misfits II packed up and shipped, Amanda Louise Spayd has the old Vesta working overtime as she queues up production for Forgotten Finery, her solo show at Rivet Gallery Saturday. A rather flocculent little lamb is the newest critter to be revealed and while my penchant for wittle toofs is no secret, the shadows around the eyes really do it for me with his piece. Not to mention the thrill (and hilarity) of seeing her monsters turn into animals; pastel-colored bees are also promised at the exhibit, along with the odd overly-ruffled ballerina. That oughta be good.

Forgotten Finery opens April 7th and is on display until the 30th. Amanda will be there so pop by and say hi if you find yourself in Columbus!

Sneaks from Andrew Bell for ‘The Great Escape’ @ Stranger Factory April 6th

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The other artist making his great escape to Stranger Factory next month is none other than keen creature wrangler, Andrew Bell. His tragicomical illustrations, otherworldly monster sculptures and designer toy lines have garnered him international attention; his distinct aesthetic has made him one of the most interesting artists to watch in the lowbrow/pop surrealist and art toy scene. Though he’s spent many hours holed away in the studio, quietly creating some Great Escape magic with fellow exhibitor Kelly Denato (her sneaks here), he’s also been kind enough to throw us the odd tweet or two to feed our curiosity. Have a look below at what the last two months have looked like in Dead Zebra Studios!

The Great Escape opens April 6th through the 30th at Stranger Factory in Albuquerque, NM. Reception with the artists on opening night from 6pm to 9pm!



Kelly Denato Preps for ‘The Great Escape’ @ Stranger Factory April 6th

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Since early February, Kelly Denato has been plugging away at The Great Escape — her two-person exhibition with Andrew Bell, opening next month at Stranger Factory. We’ve all had the rare fortune of watching Kelly create this show, essentially from start to finish, via her Twitter account: from beautifully simplistic drawings to elegant paintings and whimsical sculpts, she’s produced what is arguably her best work to date. Compiled here is a visual scrapbook of the last two months in Studio  ‘Doomnato’ — the canvases, the lumps of clay … the cocktails and animal crackers. It’s all here.

And for those who are curious of the tally so far: “7 paintings, 6 sculptures, and 11 drawings just about ready to go… I can finally see an end in sight! (Sort of…) G’nite!”

(Go, Kelly!)

The Great Escape opens April 6th and runs through April 30th. Reception with the artists on opening night from 6 to 9pm!


Stranger Factory Presents: Andrew Bell & Kelly Denato’s THE GREAT ESCAPE, April 6th

Ladies, gents, freaks, geeks and neighbourhood gentle giants! I hope you’ve been saving your pennies because April is turning into quite the big deal here in CP land. You’ve been hearing plenty about Circus Posterus’ Japan group exhibition, Monsters & Misfits II, along with Amanda Louise Spayd’s solo show, Forgotten Finery, at Rivet Gallery. But it doesn’t stop there: crashing smack-dab in the middle of the action is The Great Escape from Andrew Bell and Kelly Denato, kicking off April 6th at Stranger Factory. The dynamic duo are blowing into town to show off their newest 2- and 3-dimension works and given the WIPs and teasers that have been circulating around the web these past few weeks, it’s going to be a doozy (fingers crossed for no site crashes this round!). Here’s a snippet from the press release:

The debilitating feeling of heartbreak; the self-destructive spiral of past emotions and memories; the overwhelming feeling of social suffocation — they’re the less gracious experiences in life that we all inevitably encounter and Andrew Bell and Kelly Denato bring them to the fore in The Great Escape – an exhibition of new drawings, paintings and sculptures from the Brooklyn-based artists.

Combining tragic humor and delicate elegance, the artists wade the terrain of a new reality: a reality of pushing forward after shedding the skin of a previous life – be it a love left behind or old fears and insecurities now put to rest.

Many creatures in nature possess innate defense mechanisms – poison, quills, ink, spots, stripes, white winter coats. People on the other hand must create them. Oftentimes it’s not a predator we are trying to evade but ourselves; we are bundles of electricity, blood, and spirit – constantly moving, feeling, thinking, sweating, breathing. Our bodies are both containment and confinement.  The circumstances that keep us contained, confined, and safe are as thin and delicate as ribbons. – Kelly Denato

Very exciting stuff is in store for us next month! Enjoy the handful of Great Escape preview images below and stay tuned for more sneaks in the coming days!

Friday Night Art Dorkin’ at CP HQ

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Looks like Kathie and Brandt are engagin’ in a bit of #FridayNightArtDorks action right now, as Kathie has just shared a batch of new WIP and teaser shots on Instagram for the upcoming Monsters & Misfits II exhibition in Japan. It’s coming down to crunch time for the artists as these need to start shipping soon to clear customs, so here’s hoping we get a few more juicy snaps in the coming days while things get packed up!

There are a lot of interesting pieces in this batch, most notably the crazy white rabbit Boo Skelve totem up above. This is such a freaking complex and exquisite piece, and given that KO’s rabbits rarely make an appearance in 3D form, this piece is bound to be a showstopper.

This one has me a bit curious. First: what the devil is it? Second: is this a custom or an original sculpt? At first glance it looks like a customized Stingy Jack head (esp. that nose), but now I’m not so sure. The legs are throwin’ me, here. Such a bizarre little fellow.

And here we have Brandt putting on his best artist-face-of-utter-concentration as he manhandles a Skelve’s head. Stare that Skelve into utter subservience, BP! That lout ought to be painting himself!

And what’s this? Boo seems to have gained a Lucky puppet friend. Aw. The little hood is cute — loving all the reinterpretations of Boo in this show (there are more — stay tuned!). Happy art dorkin’ all!

Monsters & Misfits II opens April 13th through the 26th at the Kusakabe Folk Museum in Takayama, Japan.

Monsters, Misfits… and Zombies!

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Oh em gee. Kathie’s Instagram onslaught continues with some really sweet pieces for Monsters & Misfits II — we’ve got girls, we’ve got snakes, we’ve got … rotting reindeer? Fingers crossed the latter is a new edition, because who honestly wouldn’t love a zombie deer: Circus style. ;)

Monsters & Misfits II opens April 13th at the Kusakabe Folk Museum in Takayama, Japan.