Bunker Center for the Arts and Madeline Brice Solo Exhibition

Bunker Center for the Arts is an artist-run located in the heart of crossroads in Kansas City, Missouri. They offer studios for artists, workshops, and exhibitions throughout the year. I visited Bunker for the First Fridays in September for the first time and I was greeted with friendly and enthusiastic artists who have opened their work space for visitors to see. First Fridays, if you are unfamiliar, is an international art event offering art and music that encourages people to come out that takes place on the first Friday of every month.

Madeline Brice She is no doubt an exceptional oil painter but behind the surface exists a critical thinker and mastermind. I had the honor to speak with her briefly in person about her new solo exhibition at Bunker and take in her work.

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Partner/sXe Identity, oil, spray paint, 24 x 36 in

Okay, Okay; and other lies we tell ourselves

Okay, okay; and other lies we tell ourselves is a series of works in response to the increasing number of untruths about ourselves we quietly, loudly speak into existence.

“Do you smoke?” “No”, I say, having smoked a cigarette only an hour ago.

From her artist statement

This work is an investigation into the lies I’ve told and continue to tell myself and the cognitive dissonance it implies. For dissonance is ambiguous, intangible. I often tie it to my feelings about perception. Having recently been diagnosed with a visual perception disorder these untruths have caused a more reactionary impulse. This disorder causes the world to seem dreamlike and delusive, and an unwavering struggle between myself and reality. I can no longer sit with the dissonant discomfort like I used to. I’m interested in the perceptive patterns that these lies or untruths create as they build up in a portion of the psychological space, their combined power gradually forcing a change in my attitudes and behaviors.

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I’ll only have a couple, oil on mylar, plywood, nails, gridwire, tintype photograph, 24 x 30 in

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These are yeezy 700S, Oil on mylar, 24 x 44 in

She paints her loved ones, events, things near, and the everyday. All the subjects are distorted. We can assume from her artist statement that she is trying to show how she sees the world. Most of the paintings are painted on mylar, a very reflective material made out of polyethylene terephthalate. When looked closely, shiny bits of mylar peeked through. This interesting effect makes the viewer close to the painting to observe further. We cannot ignore the wire grid that is prevalent in each piece and it ties this body of work together. They manifest in all types of ways. There are sculptures made to resemble 3D cans, it is in the corner of a painting, on top of a painting, the grid covers the entire painting so the painting exists behind the grid, and painted tennis rackets. How can we distinguish reality from fiction? Would this specific moment right here right now looking at Madeline’s paintings, the reality or the world depicted in paintings?

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The summer I really get good at tennis, oil on mylar, 60 x 48 in

Madeline Brice is a young and promising artist who we will see her work nationally and internationally in these coming years.

If you have a chance, Bunker Center for the Arts is well worth a visit. They have exciting new exhibitions every few months.

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Self-Portrait/negative, oil pastel, oil, mylar, bristal, plywood, 24 x 40.5 in

Bunker Center for the Arts and Madeline Brice Solo Exhibition INFO

VenueThe Bunker Center for The Arts
Address1014 E. 19th Street Kansas City, MO 64108
TEL(816) 866-8350
URLBunkercenter.com
ArtistMadeline Brice
Instagram@madelinebrice.art
URLhttps://www.madelinebrice.com

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