Review of Christine Gray at the Cress Gallery in the Fine Arts Center at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Christine mixes fantasy and reality in her work. She “explores cultural mythologies that misrepresent nature and out relationship to it,” according to the artist’s statement. She explores the seeker in her work and throughout her collection and the seeker is evident. Each piece features some sort of eye-type image that appears to be watching. Watching the landscape she has painted, yet somehow watching you the viewer. In her piece, Ever and Ever Eyes, the moths that are scattered at the bottom of the work seem to create a repetition of eyes watching. In addition to the smaller eyes of the moths, two breaks in the leaves of the tree seem to create a set of eyes. The moths seem to be watching the landscape, while the large eyes in the trees seem to be seeking the viewer, drawing them in, making “eye connection” with the viewer and drawing the viewer more into the landscape.
Neo-Geo Omen is my favorite piece of Gray’s. There is a smooth transition between the changing value, tone and saturation moving about the piece. The treatment of the oils with a comb-like pattern gives it movement and motion…almost wavelike. These “waves” effortlessly morph into a graphic pattern. There are so many different elements to this piece, yet they all seem to effortlessly flow from one element to another to create a successful piece. Gray has a fantastic yet realistic approach to her work. Her treatment of such images as feathers and rope are impressively realistic. A closer look at the feathers gives way to even more appreciation to Gray’s attention to details and specifics. Gray’s theme of the seeker and the feeling that her art is watching you is felt when standing in front of it.
If you are interested in checking out more of her work, feel free to visit her website.