Husband and wife team Peter and Madeline Powell will present All Piled Up, their debut exhibition of photorealistic still life paintings at Scott Richards Contemporary Art, during the month of June 2016. A cocktail reception for the artists will be held on Thursday, June 2, and the exhibition continues through June 30.
In what they describe as a “creative alliance”, Peter and Madeline Powell combine their talents, jointly sharing the artistic process from conception to the final brushstroke. They also share an amazing photorealistic technique, with every reflection, shadow and texture carefully reproduced.
Together they assemble elaborate piles of objects that have been selected not just for their bright colors and playful shapes, but also for their equally important evocative meaning. These are photographed by the Powells, who then choose a final composition from dozens of potential shots. Favorite subjects include jumbled mounds of candy, toys, or other nostalgic objects from childhood, which are densely massed together in detailed, close-up views.
In the Pop Art tradition, the everyday, playful objects are blown out of proportion on the canvas, directing our attention to their status as American icons and worthy cultural subjects. Meticulously painted in detail, including the minute text on the printed wrappers, the magnified objects engulf the viewer in exuberant color and dynamic movement. At the same time, the artists appreciate the good humor of their subject matter, inviting us to dive straight into the bounty for the sheer joy of it.
While other still life painters might downplay the text on the labels, the Powells prefer to place it front and center. Brands such as Milky Way, Bazooka, Red Hots, M&Ms and Hershey’s Kisses are easily recognizable and summon up fond memories of summer vacation and Halloween trick-or-treating. We are likewise reminded of the strong temptation in these familiar brand names and how we unconsciously respond, wanting to unwrap the goodies on the spot.
Peter and Madeline Powell have exhibited across the United States and their work is included in many private and public art collections including A&M Records, Los Angeles, CA; BMW North America, Atlanta, GA; OPI, Beverly Hills, CA; COSBAR, Aspen, CO; and Robert McKay Corporate Collection, San Diego, CA. The couple resides in Hawaii.