Jane Lombard Gallery presents a solo booth by Carmen Neely at UNTITLED, Miami Beach 2018. The booth features painting, sculpture, and collage created over the past year. These new works employ gestural brushstrokes, quotidian objects and a uniquely personal narrative.
Carefully selected moments are at play in the romantic nostalgia and confusion Neely astutely captures in the works. Combining painting and found materials she enriches them with emotion and keen societal observations on the intersection of love and loss. She revisits conversations, life events and the tactical items in the process of creating. Neely weaves her interpersonal relationships through the works reflecting on and relishing the past.
“I’m missing the feeling of freely loving someone like an idiot teenager. Most people use this gift/curse as if it were a right of passage. When you make it to the other side of adolescence you get to shed your guiltless, fearless capacity to share and receive love with the ease of a handshake. There is no longer innocence in a warm smile. Overnight, love becomes this big idea. It transforms into something incomprehensible and impractical and indulgent and terrifying. We all become adult children running around wanting to be close to each other and simultaneously afraid of each other. We convince ourselves that this is a practical, self-sustaining type of intimacy and we pat ourselves on the back for being so clever before we cry ourselves to sleep. The worst part may be knowing you’re choosing loneliness but not knowing how to make any other choice.
It only makes less and less sense.
And you only dig the hole deeper.
And you only feel further and further away from that beautiful idiot you used to be.
Maybe the trick is to write a thing, or paint a thing, and expect absolutely nothing. Give a thing and expect nothing? Though, we’re living in a world right now that’s attempting to train us for low expectations and broken spirits, so this option feels like the worst kind of surrender.
I’m seeking a different type of surrender… the type that yields freedom.”
-written sometime in the fall of 2017 by Carmen Neely
Carmen Neely (b. 1987, Charlotte, NC) earned a MFA in studio art from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2016, and a BFA in painting from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2012. Recent exhibitions include; it makes it more so if you say so, Jane Lombard Gallery, Chelsea NY; 17 feet away, Lump Gallery, Raleigh, NC; Behaving Differently, Plank Gallery, Seattle WA, Black Blooded: Curated by Jessica Gaynelle Moss, The New Gallery, Charlotte NC. Forthcoming exhibitions include Neely's first international solo exhibition, Lifelines, Setareh Gallery, Dusseldorf, DE, in January 2019. Neely has been a resident artist at Sparkbox Studio, Ontario, Canada, and Vermont Studio Center. She currently lives in Charlotte NC.