Gallery Two Six Two Gets Surreal
Story by LEAH SHAPIRO |
Photos by GALLERY 262, N.C. PRINTING & MICHELLE WALKER
For the first time in Haywood County, Gallery Two Six Two features the work of two area artists that exudes the dreamlike quality and juxtaposed imagery of Surrealism, an influential style of art from the early twentieth-century. “Surreal Appalachia: The Works of Michelle Walker and Bobbie Polizzi” spotlights that which is not typically showcased in galleries of our region.
Bobbie Polizzi of Hendersonville takes discarded antiques, baby dolls, and found objects and combines them to create sculptural works. “Whimsical, yet undeniably bizarre, Polizzi’s pieces evoke a sense of Victorian-era religious iconography, through the eyes of a Tim Burton or Bosch,” explains Aaron Stone, owner and proprietor at Gallery Two Six Two.
“My assemblages grow out of a life-long love of junking [and] art history, and growing up in southern California’s multi-cultural environment,” Bobbie explains. Her collection of thirteen pieces was influenced by the Day of the Dead, a national holiday in Mexico when friends and families celebrate the lives of their deceased ancestors and compadres. Hence the skull atop Saint Barbie: Patron Saint of Broken Dolls. “I refer to my art as ‘junk and disorderly,’ the artist adds.
While Bobbie’s pieces present three-dimensional installations, Michelle Walker blends oils and charcoals to create her canvassed art. The 7-10 pieces include blends of oils with real butterfly and moth wings, creating mystical flying creature and cold, stark landscapes. “Beautifully delicate, yet dark [and] even bordering on morbid, Walker’s work is a unique blend of the classical and the apocalyptic, reminiscent of Salvador Dali, Hieronymus Bosch, and H.R. Giger,” sys Aaron.
Inspired by the grotesque, Michelle believes “all things are beautiful, even the morbid.” Fascinated with the human form (dead or alive), Michelle likens her house, which is full of skull and various bones, to that of a paleontologist. Her “Moth Face” oil painting contains actual moth wings and her “Bob” charcoal bobcat skull shows a longer-lasting side of the once vibrant animal.
Bobbie and Michelle will both be present at the opening reception on Friday, October 5 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to discuss their pieces.
“All of the works in this show will be ‘conversation pieces,’ for sure,” Michelle explains. “Not only sparking conversation between people, but also between the piece of art and the viewer herself.”
The exhibit begins October 5 and runs through October. Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Gallery Two Six Two is located at 142 North Main Street in Waynesville. For more information, call 828.452.6100 or visit online at gallerytwosixtwo.com.