Vance Mellen: Illuminated Paintings 

Thursday Nov. 11-Friday Nov. 12 @ Art Access Gallery

click to enlarge art12599widea.jpg

Perhaps more than other artistic mediums, painting’s hallmark is its ability to illustrate or chart the artist’s psychological landscape. After all, the artist is pushing paint directly onto the canvas; there’s nothing “digital” about it, and the works bear the weight of not only the psyche but the sheer physicality of the painter.

The paintings of Vance Mellen take the idea to a few unusual places. That’s due, in part, to his current residency in a state known for being tops in the use of antidepressants (that’s us) and his time spent in Topeka, Kan., dubbed “the mental health capital of the world” because of its multiple asylums. Also, this multimedia artist enhances his paintings with a cinematic sense in his Illuminated Paintings show at Art Access.

These unique landscape paintings include small, transparent/plastic giclee objects that he photographed and embedded in the paintings and illuminated from behind with rope lights and LED lights (“Abandoned Gauss Church” is pictured). The lights have the effect of deepening the sense of seclusion of whomever is inside these ramshackle residences, set against stark backgrounds; the act of illumination highlights what is hidden.

One image of a church graveyard features a miniature animation of Mellen trying to crawl out of his father’s grave, wearing the man’s suit. It’s an almost Freudian moment in diorama form.

Vance Mellen: Illuminated Paintings @ Art Access Gallery, 230 S. 500 West No. 125, 801-328-0703, through Nov 12.

Pin It

More by Brian Staker

  • A Sense of Place

    Alice Gallery showcases works exploring The Architecture of Place.
    • Jul 20, 2016
  • And the Room Goes ...

    Helmet-headed one-man blues band Bob Log III's self-referential dirty blues still drives audiences wild.
    • Jul 20, 2016
  • Feel the Burn

    After 17 years, beloved local hardcore band Iceburn pulls a phoenix trick.
    • Jul 13, 2016
  • More »

Latest in Entertainment Picks


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Readers also liked…

  • Essentials: Entertainment Picks Jan. 1-7

    The 1990s are back for the University of Utah men's basketball program, so put on your Andre Miller throwback jersey, pop a mixtape of your favorite grunge tunes in your Walkman and roller-blade on over to the Huntsman Center.
    • Dec 31, 2014
  • Essentials: Entertainment Picks Jan. 22-28

    The Sundance Film Festival brings a party atmosphere to Salt Lake City every year, and SB Dance wants to bring a local flavor to that party.
    • Jan 21, 2015

© 2016 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation