Monday, September 14, 2009
Pop Surrealism Profile: The Art of Kelly Haigh
Pop surrealism, also known as "lowbrow" art, is a modern art movement. I'm not going to try to define it. Since so many artists have been placed under its umbrella, the styles and elements used are just too diverse to pin down. What I like about the movement, however, is the fact that the art usually tells a story that is relatable. The artists don't typically make abstract art and then put a pretentious "meaning" upon it after the fact that you supposedly can only understand if you are "smart enough." In fact, pop surrealist Travis Louie gave a good example of this at a recent Dragon-Con panel. He gave an example of an artist who called a pile of broken glass a work of art. He joked about the piece and wondered how you could ever dust it or clean it.
The pieces made by pop surrealists do have meaning, just not inauthentic meaning conjured up by some elitist art snob. Rather, the meaning is usually revealed by the stories the pieces tell and the symbols used. The meaning can be found by viewers willing to examine the piece and find it.
The original painting I am featuring today is by Canadian pop surrealist Kelly Haigh. It is one of my original paintings (24x30) from our pop surrealist art collection and was painted by Kelly for an animal rights charity auction. I love how she has taken the real life and beliefs of the pop culture personality shown and subverted it to tell a story. More of Kelly's work can be found on her website Doll in the Family. On a side note, Kelly has an interesting fringe collecting interest herself. She collects Victorian taxidermy and the most striking pieces she has are of beloved, dead pets.