Thinkspace presents a photo tour through Kayla Mahaffey’s ‘Remember the Time‘, Roos van der Vliet’s ‘Mirrors of Your Soul’, and Jon Burgerman’s ‘Fuzzy Faces‘ exhibitions now on view through October 9th.Continue reading Photo Tour of Kayla Mahaffey, Roos van der Vliet, and Jon Burgerman Exhibitions
Surrounding Black children with jumbled masses of cartoon characters, doodles, and explosions of color, Chicago-based artist Kayla Mahaffey (previously) imagines adolescent daydreams and an array of playtime inventions. She infuses her acrylic paintings with a longing for carefree summer days, mornings spent watching the foibles of favorite animated characters, and hours left open for adventure, capturing feelings of joy and curiosity.Evoking Childhood Nostalgia, Color and Cartoon Commotion Burst from Kayla Mahaffey’s Paintings / Colossal
Remember the Time
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 18 from 6PM- 10PM
Masks and Social Distancing Required
Thinkspace Projects is honored to present Kayla Mahaffey’s latest solo show, ‘Remember the Time.’ Mahaffey examines the language of nostalgia in this collection of large-scale new works on canvas.
Summer days, children playing, neighborly love, peace…quiet. Nostalgia creates a shroud of positivity, coating childhood memories and glossing over the rougher moments. Although past chaos and hate have always been present, there is a shared recollection of peaceful times. Mahaffey examines this cyclical phenomenon in ‘Remember the Time,’ acknowledging that though we are in the midst of a difficult time, heavily influenced by generations before, there is value in the sugar-coated nostalgia as well.
“There have been numerous occasions where we omit the truths of our past to only be met with the disappointments of the future. An never ending cycle that has influenced our current era for the best and the worst. Even though we’re currently going through a very troubling era, let’s take a moment to remember those times where we felt the most safe or where we felt the happiest. Many of us wish to go back to that life, but not to change anything, but to feel a few cherished things, once again.”
Mahaffey herself finds comfort in the fond memories of her childhood, creating a signature style heavily influenced by the very cartoons that filled those carefree childhood moments. Mahaffey is known for her hyper-realistic renderings accented with elements of pop surrealism and animation. Her colorful works depicting Black children in the midst of cartoon-like capers and contemplations speak of youth, fantasy, and creativity. She channels the fresh eyes of a child, beautifully rendering scenes that transport the viewer to that very period of life.
While the word cartoon has certain childish connotations, Mahaffey has highlighted the true importance of this lighthearted entertainment. She acknowledges that cartoons are often the first time children are exposed to the concept of morality, with a clear right and wrong, giving simple characters and stories a layered and complex second life. Mahaffey, a self-proclaimed nerd, is able to elevate these elements within her work, reminding us that cartoons were once an important escape during their early years, and there’s nothing to say they cannot be again. Her work inspires viewers to return to that state of mind, providing a necessary escape when the surrounding world has become increasingly difficult.
‘Remember the Time’ opens September 18, 2021 with a reception from 6 PM to 9 PM. On view until October 9, 2021 at Thinkspace Projects.
About Kayla Mahaffey
Kayla Mahaffey (aka Kayla May) is a contemporary artist specializing in Illustration and Fine Arts. Her style being a mixture of pop art and Afro-surrealism makes for a bright and colorful experience that packs a punch as well as sends an important message with each piece. Born on the Chicago South Side, she has a strong sense of resilience and community that is displayed in her art work time and time again. She studied at the American Academy of Art in Downtown Chicago, taking some classes, before leaving in 2017 to pursue art full-time.
Explore THE NEW VANGUARD III from the comfort of your home with a video tour through the exhibitions, showcasing the compelling and thought-provoking work of a very talented group of new contemporary artists.
THE NEW VANGUARD III
Curated by Thinkspace Projects
September 12 through December 27, 2020
Lancaster Museum of Art and History
665 W. Lancaster Blvd.
Lancaster, California 93534
Featuring Solo Exhibitions From:
KEVIN PETERSON “Embers”
KAYLA MAHAFFEY “Adrift”
ALEX GARANT “Deconstructing Identities”
KATHY AGER “Fool’s Gold”
The Lancaster Museum of Art and History, in collaboration with Los Angeles’ Thinkspace Projects, is pleased to present The New Vanguard III, a dynamic group exhibition of works by international artists working in the New Contemporary art movement. The highly anticipated follow up to 2018’s successful second iteration of The New Vanguard, on view in tandem with this year’s POW WOW! Antelope Valley will feature special solo projects by artists Kevin Peterson, Kayla Mahaffey, Kathy Ager and Alex Garant.
The New Vanguard III, in keeping with the first two installments, will present a diverse and expansive group of curated new works. In addition to the solo exhibitions on view from Mahaffey, Peterson, Ager and Garant, we will also be presenting our ’Small Victories’ group show focusing on suicide prevention and mental health. We’ve lost one of our greatest allies and friends and one of our rising stars to this ever growing epidemic in recent years. Sadly this issue is very wide spread in the creative community and we want to help raise awareness and funds. If it helps guide just one person out of the darkness, it was more than worth it to mount this collection of works.
Video by Birdman