Interview with Kelly Denato for Fall into Frost

Have a read of the recent interview we did with NY-based artist Kelly Denato on her upcoming show at mph!

Where does the name of your show at mph come from?

Fall Into Frost is a series of paintings and drawings.  Autumn to Winter is a brilliant and enigmatic change of season – at least for those of us who experience the 4 seasons.  The treetops and ground are covered in these tiny, quivering, prismatic carcasses. Deep greens explode into golds, reds, and pinks. A last colorful burst before the world goes grey.  Animals scurry about to consume, save, and store for the coming months.  The wind begins to chill and blow and our breath becomes visible, vapors of escaping spirit.  It is a time of transition, a decent from the apex of a climb to life that began in spring. Blooms, blossoms, bulbs, sprouts, and seeds have all reached the end of their cycle and now begin to retreat into dormancy or death.  This transition from dynamism to oblivion, vibrant to bleached, the idea that instead of a slow decay, something can be it’s most beautiful just before it’s dust – “last vivid gasp before the frost.”, m.d. – these are the motivations behind Fall Into Frost.

You’re capable of executing great work in many mediums; what can the audience expect to see in this upcoming show?

The pieces for this show are comprised of paintings on wood panels and framed pencil drawings.  I had several sculptures planned but because of the hurricane that hit the north east a few weeks ago, none of the sculpting supplies I’d ordered ever made it to me! Nonetheless, should those supplies ever arrive,  I’ll be creating several sculpts in the this theme. Unfortunately they won’t be a part of the show. Boo.

Kelly Denato

 You’ll be exhibiting your work alongside Julie West in her show, The Dandy. Did knowing your work would be showcased in a duo exhibition affect your process in making work for this show?

I’m thrilled to be exhibiting with Julie, her work is tremendous.  Actually, one of the first few shows I attended at Myplasticheart was a solo exhibition of hers. However, knowing I was showing with Julie didn’t change my approach to my own paintings and drawings.  Julie’s work is rich with precision – line and flat shapes accurate and architectural – where my work is softer and  tends to play with light, volume, and color to define it’s shapes. I really think that the differences in our work will be part of what makes this show interesting.

Kelly Denato

 Do you have any kind of rituals that you do to work yourself up into creating artwork?

Drawdrawdraw.  It’s not just about honing a technical skill, it’s about visual brainstorming or a visual stream of consciousness. Eventually, patterns and themes begin to develop and these elements become a vocabulary that I apply to my finished pieces. When I’m really stuck for ideas, I just look through my old sketchbooks and steal from myself (is that even stealing?). Images I might of thought were total rubbish previously, can take on whole new meaning and purpose when I see them with fresh eyes and in new context. I keep stacks of books, drawings, doodles, post-its, etc. so when it’s time to create a finish I’m not starting from scratch. Nothing more disruptive to the creative process than a blank page.

Thanks, Kelly!

Come check out the opening of Fall into Frost and Julie West’s show The Dandy, both opening this Friday, November 16 from 6 – 9pm.

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