I like the way Kyle Staver applies the freedoms of fine art to the storytelling of illustration.
Her paintings have all the personal indulgence of fine art-- she takes liberties with the human figure and boldly flattens forms the way Milton Avery did...
...she injects a personal mysticism and symbolism into her paintings the way Gauguin did...
... and she occasionally bleaches out detail with radiant light, the way Bonnard did.
Yet, her paintings also contain the type of narrative more commonly found in illustration. She says, "I'm first and foremost a storyteller. When I went to art school you couldn't say that, you couldn't say that you wanted to make paintings because you wanted to tell a story. But secretly that's what I wanted to do."
I think her paintings benefit from the discipline added by a personal story. Her urge to communicate keeps her away from the self-indulgent obfuscation that plagues so much of contemporary art. She paints myths and legends but they frequently end up as personal stories about her life (which lends welcome humanity in an often sterile post-modern art scene).
Illustration has been properly faulted for being too literal and too obvious. Fine art has been properly faulted for being too self-absorbed and irrelevant. Staver carefully selects attributes from both disciplines and ends up with her own blend. I think her work suggests fruitful possibilities for both illustration and fine art.
|Releasing the Catfish|