Keith Perelli, figurative art printmaker

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I have explored monotype as a means of experimenting with embedded collage and drawing within the structure of a printed painting. Embracing the unforgiving nature of the process and the unexpected were liberating aspects of this challenging medium. Included in these works are ideas exploring; healing as it relates to natural disasters cancer or mental illness, or exploring race through the filter of ones familial and societal experiences and complex sociological and environmental issues surrounding youth violence and crime.

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Creating monotypes became an opportunity to synthesize observed and imagined elements of the figure, abstraction, nature and science due to the ability to layer and record nuances of varied mark-making tools. An integral facet is the impressions of real plants and litter to imbue the inked plate with details of their surface. This process furthers the visual connection linking the environment to the to the human subject. I found myself interested in contrasting the mathematic structure and strength of plant specimens to aspects of their vulnerability including disease, predators and cycles of life and mortality. The collection and integration of litter within the figures and negative spaces might also suggest touches of irony. Cigarette packages, condom wrappers, beer cups, candy papers and a fast-food crown for example, seemed reflect urban neglect and warn of indulgence. I used these objects and specimens to suggest a correlation between environment and human physiognomy. I attempted to draw from life and observation when possible. Venturing out into the neighborhood for source materials and inspiration was part of that reinforcement.

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Through these assemblages I sought to contrast strength and vulnerability, beauty and neglect, empathy and bigotry. Within each image I sought to capture tension between human survival and our physical and mental weakness. Presenting these ideas as dissected specimens requiring visual analysis might encourage the viewer to see past conditioned responses to a deeper level of shared commonalities, experiences and feelings.
Keith Perelli

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