Allyson # 1A
ALLYSON MELLBERG opens: ‘Do Little’ !! to a large & very receptive crowd in Brooklyn.

ALLYSON came to town briefly – for the opening of this exhibit person of her new works, (all are made in 2008), at CINDERS.
The show runs OCT 10 – NOV 9, 2008 and yes, its a definite – go see !!!
She currently lives, with her husband, fellow artist JEREMY TAYLOR, in CHARLOTTSVILLE, VIRGINIA, where she teaches foundation studio courses, in the Fine Arts Program at JAMES MADISON University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
She seems to be a very private, quiet, though totally right-on & very inspired artist & global citizen – you can get a little more insight into her – on her blog, see: a & j !!

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she is standing in front of one of the larger framed drawings on paper, ‘Collectors’, 34 x 25 ins, ($1,500). The work, like all the works in this show – acquires its strange, subtle, monochromatic, and mysterious earth hues from the natural non-toxic materials with which she works exclusively, including homemade walnut ink, vegetable inks and egg tempera.
However, and most ironically – in Ms. Mellberg’s hands – these organic hand-harvested non-toxic pigments – and, in contrast to many of her creative world-sensitive contemporaries – don’t express a robust growing earth plant world !!! The yellowy brown stains and mottled details of the overgrown diseased potato/fungus/mushroom-like rock the girls are ‘collecting’, and the red measles-like dots on the young girls’ own faces and arms – suggest something’s gone wrong – these organically scripted drawings – speak of almost invisible toxins and subtlely diseased eco-systems – they do not augur well for the future.

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ALLYSON MELLBERG, detail ‘Collectors’, homemade walnut ink & egg tempera.
. . . in fact, Ms. Mellberg confirms that the ‘rock’ they collect is indeed – toxic – and, not to be touched. It’s a metaphor, I guess – for her general theme throughout: our youngest, and most innocent children, no matter how we take care of them – are being borne into an already degraded and toxic eco-system – and, it is affecting them. They are already ‘damaged’, weakened – we are are no longer able to procreate robust earth plants or animals, human species included …. no matter how organic – the effort – the global degrade & pollution – is already too manifest.
just for fun, or maybe NOT !! – one could take it even further, and question the origins & health of those very eggs – that her egg tempera is derived from !! – was it organic ? more to the point – did she raise it ? did that egg tempera derive from an egg that was laid by a hen raised on a farm – as a free ranging farm animal, like back in the day, or are those industrial super market egg tempera eggs – ‘collected’ from hens cooped up lifelong in small metal cages, like the ones most of us eat, whether we envision it or not, every time we crack one open? OMG – can you just imagine a not so far-off world – where even – in the art supply stores – !! – the labels would be required to inform you of the real origins of your watercolor pigments – the new-age version of that old school – battle: WINDSOR-NEWTON vs. PRANG !!!

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. . . which is not say – that because this show has ‘meaning’ – it isn’t b-e-a-u-t–i-f-u-l !! au contraire – even more so!! it takes accountability. it speaks to change and future hope. without text. very visual – pure juice !! it’s this super immediate generation’s step beyond the one that just so briefly flared – and – flamed its way into our hearts – the beautiful losers and neo-hippies – with their psychedelic mushrooms, neon colors and shamanistic visions !! that was/is a neo ‘me’ culture – this one speaks of the ‘other’ – the children who come after us – a very innocent, very sensitive, very gentle animal-listening race – very artistic – but very doomed – if we don’t watch – it !!

just like this portrait – its a kind of reverse decadence. instead of a dark 1930 Berlin cabaret dancer or an equally flamboyant American 20’s flapper – throwing her fur with glorious abandon about her neck – here – well, you get the picture !!! in fact some aspects of her work – brings to mind, for me anyways – BARRY McGEE – his sorrowful decadent world weary – faces painted onto glass bottles.

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some of the work is much more dreamy – and less in-your face. though still on point. it be interesting to ask ALLYSON, herself – if she felt she was in-your-face. but look at her blog, a&j, (also linked above). in her own way – she is very determined and very direct about how wants to live her time – on this planet. she is of gardens – but she is no wallflower – she is one strong willed lady…

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the show included some small dioramas – with hand-sewn cloth (felt) figures.
the pieces come with the ‘shelves’ – which were made by Allyson’s husband, artist JEREMY TAYLOR.

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yes, there are hand painted ‘faces’ along some of the walls. what was that about Barry McGee, Clare Rohas, and, even Matt Leines ?

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a close-up of a tiny hand stitched felt figure.

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ALLYSON MELLBERG, ‘Give or take’, (collaboration w. JEREMY TAYLOR), wool blend felt, wood, walnut ink backdrop, 2008. ($750.)

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ALLYSON MELLBERG, ‘I imagine the wilderness will be strange.’ , homemade walnut ink & egg tempera,
2008. ($1,500)

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detail, ALLYSON MELLBERG, ‘I imagine the wilderness will be strange’.
AMERICAN QUILTERS – are you, with me ?

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the opening nite party spills out onto HAVEMEYER & HOPE ST.

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the favorite roost outside CINDERS.

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artists: KELIE BOWMAN (also a co-founder of CINDERS), and her guest, ALLYSON MELLBERG.
the opening reception for: ALLYSON MELLBERG – ‘Do Little’, CINDERS GALLERY, OCT 10, 2008
the show runs thru NOV 9, 2008.