Solo(c)ist | Arts & Entertainment | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Solo(c)ist 

It’s no slip of the tongue'Camilla Taylor’s huggable sculptural prints are one of a kind.

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Artists express their individuality in different ways. Sometimes they need to pull out a dictionary to do it.

Phoenix resident Camilla Taylor found she had to move away from native Salt Lake City to redefine her artistic identity, though she still maintains a presence in the city. To describe her latest exhibit, she even had to move away from familiar words, finding one so obscure, you might think she came up with it herself: Solecist. Though, by definition, it deals with verbal blunders, phonetically it evokes the problematic nature of being a solo artist.

“The first time I showed this series, I called the show Culpable, but it’s not really a melodious word,” she explains. “Your spellchecker probably won’t recognize ‘solecist.’”

She was correct. Merriam-Webster defines solecism as “an ungrammatical combination of words or breach in etiquette.” Taylor says she doesn’t embrace solecisms so much as she inadvertently commits them with pretty reliable consistency. “I hate making mistakes; I’m far from embracing them as of yet,” she says.

This uniquely named exhibition showcases Taylor’s own hybrid art form: “sculptural prints” fashioned from prints on cloth. It’s just the latest innovation by an idiosyncratic artist already known here for her Vegan Erotica Website and Horseflesh Productions online shop. Similar Taylor work appeared at a Kayo Gallery show two years ago, involving dolls but without the printmaking element. “The ‘Invisible Coterie’ series was really fun to work on,” Taylor recalls, “but in the end, I was finished with it pretty quickly, and there weren’t many places I could go with it.

“The process and the theme are new and interesting to me,” she says of Solecist. “Plus, there’s this conflict between being two-dimensional and being three dimensional that I think is fascinating.”

Her relocation from Utah has been conducive to creativity. She likes Phoenix less than Salt Lake City, but it’s made her “ridiculously productive.” Being unable to drive wasn’t as much of an issue here—where she biked everywhere—as it is in more-spread-out Phoenix in 110-degree heat. Her solution? “I invest more time in work, and less time in making friends and drinking and hanging out and doing stuff that involves leaving my house.

“Before I moved to [Salt Lake City], I wasn’t a sociable person by any means, and now I’m not very sociable again,” she says. “Time is finite, and I want to use what I’ve got. Sometimes, I get panicked—afraid that I’ll never get everything done that I want to get done.”

Kenny Riches, owner of Kayo Gallery, started a new venture—called Okay Collective—connected to Taylor’s show, in which he has invited artists to make illustrations and graphics to be screen-printed onto clothing. “My intention was to make a limited run of skirts which I’m sewing and designing, but I’m sort of behind schedule, so that might debut after the show opens,” Taylor says of her contribution. “Either way, I’ve used some images from the work in the show for the clothes.”

Riches describes Taylor’s work in this solo show as “a series of relief prints, in a palette limited to black ink on colored and white fabric. The three dimensionality has been made an intrinsic aspect of the pieces, as the individual prints which comprise each piece only become coherent when put together.”

As singular as her work is, it still connects with viewers. There will be a sign hung on the wall that reads, “You may gently interfere with their lives.” Taylor explains, “That’s what I want people to do with the pieces: Interact with them.” Because they’re editioned—that is, there are multiples of each piece—they aren’t precious, but each still has personality within its discrete group.

“It’s wonderful to watch people interact with art when they’re suddenly given permission to and aren’t sneaking surreptitious little fondles and strokes,” Taylor says. “One guy went through a previous gallery showing and hugged each piece. I tried to talk to him, but he shooed me away and went back to hugging.”

CAMILLA TAYLOR: SOLECIST
Kayo Gallery
177 E. 300 South
Through Aug. 11
532-4717

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