Friday, November 2, 2012

Auralieus @ Saint Paint

Derek Donnelly recently moved (one door down) to a bigger space, whose opening was reviewed here. Auralieus is a young, well-known painter in St. Pete whose work also has been reviewed here before.

All work by Auralieus

Auralieus has a show at Saint Paint. I spoke with him briefly on opening night over the music from the band playing on the sidewalk. In high school, he found himself getting his best grades in art class. One teacher took note and paid attention. One day he brought the budding artist a book that would change his life. It was on the art and life of Basquiat. This influence is apparent in Auralieus' work, particularly the larger works, but he has transformed it into his own style.

Work by Auralieus

Work by Auralieus
In this exhibit, a recent trend among many St. Pete artists is at play. A large number of works, as shown in the picture above, were priced very reasonably. This has enabled many artists to move work in this economy and buyers to obtain affordable work. A kind of balance between the level of the work and prices has settled. These were about 15" sq. on paper.

Work by Auralieus

In the work we see themes of power, copyright, control (self and imposed), identity, money, sex, death, and a healthy disrespect for authority and convention. In the work depicted at left, the Basquiat influence is clear. a dancing, black skeleton wearing what looks like a crown of thorns, with an x-ray view of its innards (in red), a gold crown seems to dangle from its left hand. Another ghostly figure below reaches up. The amount of energy in this work is extraordinary, reminding me in some ways of that in Francis Bacon's work.

Aurelieus, "Hush Money"

"Hush Money", by Auralieus, a very popular work, sold a print while I was there. Congratulations to Auralieus and Saint Paint's Derek Donnelly for a good show.

--- Luis


Outside, Christian Thomas did a live paint on a large canvas.

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