Friday, May 24, 2024

Kayla Mahaffey Envisions the Self-Discovery of Adolescence By Vibrantly Energetic Work in Acrylic — Colossal



#acrylic portray
#Kayla Mahaffey

A young girl with pink braids holds a hummingbird on her finger with a black snake grasping her wrist

“Pure Intentions,” acrylic and aerosol on linen, 24 x 24 inches. All photographs © Kayla Mahaffey, shared with permission

Childhood naivete and nostalgia have all the time grounded Kayla Mahaffey’s imaginative work, however at this time, the Chicago-based artist considers what occurs within the subsequent stage of adolescence. “My earlier work centered round extra harmless occasions and the way these outdoors influences (good or dangerous) interacted with us and the way typically we remained in a state of bliss and oblivion,” she tells Colossal. “As I grow old and because the youngsters in my work develop, I need to transfer right into a course of consciousness and ask the query, ‘When was the turning level in our lives after we began to note the dangerous issues, and the way did this have an effect on us?’”

This act of self-discovery and rising consciousness of the broader world are shaping Mahaffey’s new works. Persevering with her use of vivid shade and energetic motion, the artist has toned down the cartoon particulars that after created daydream-like commotion for her younger topics, and he or she’s as a substitute gravitating towards weightier and extra ominous themes, together with the strain between life and dying. Useless birds and sinister snakes seem, whereas one determine grasps sharp clippers and one other cries massive, heavy tears.


A young girl swings on a wood and rope swing with a bandaid on her knee

“And Away We Go,” acrylic and aerosol on linen

Mahaffey has an enormous archive of sketches to be translated into acrylic and aerosol, lots of which mirror the nuanced tales of her native Chicago. “My work displays how the town immediately impacts our youth and the way they in return react when they’re cared for and likewise when they don’t seem to be,” she says, sharing that the work “are simply the tales and experiences, filtered via my thoughts and placed on paper.”

She works rapidly, and concepts emerge freely. As soon as settled on a composition, she works tirelessly till the portray is full. “I attempt to decelerate my course of at occasions, but it surely solely stunts my thought course of and clouds me mentally whereas portray, so I simply do what works for me. My thoughts works a bit extra spontaneously, and I wish to suppose my items flourish due to that,” the artist shares.

Mahaffey will launch a limited-edition sculpture with Thinkspace this week, which you’ll find extra about on Instagram.


A young girl with puffy pigtails holds a garden shears and smiles

A woman with gray coiled curls gazes at the viewer surrounded by lush foliage

“Glare,” acrylic and aerosol on stacked panels, 48 x 48 x 4 inches

A round painting o fa young girl with her eyes closed and two large tears. She's surrounded by flowers and a butterfly

“Chicago’s Hope”

A young girl with cloud like hair and an orb with a dead bird hovering above her aging hand

Two figures, both with determined looks, surrounded by foliage

“Retribution,” acrylic and aerosol on stacked panels, 32 x 32 x 3 inches

#acrylic portray
#Kayla Mahaffey


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