‘Nude’ by Chanel Kennebrew makes social commentary

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‘Nude’ by Chanel Kennebrew makes social commentary

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“Crash” is a piece from the “Explorations in Nude” exhibit by Chanel Kennebrew. CONTRIBUTED

Chanel Kennebrew’s latest art collection, “Explorations in Nude” showcases her gift of mixing visually stimulating artwork with a tongue-in-cheek social commentary.

“Explorations in Nude,” is set to open as part of the Museum Gallery Series at Pyramid Hill on Friday, Oct. 21. The 30-piece collection of mixed media artwork explores the generalization of the term nude as well as what it means to be transparent and naked and open in terms of shaking off categories. The art is comprised of 3-D collage, mixed media illustrations as well as hand-cut paper and installation pieces.

Kennebrew’s artwork has been exhibited at various galleries far and wide, including notable New York City galleries such as the Leroy Neiman Gallery, Westwood Gallery and i-20 Gallery. Her art has also been featured in the New York Times, The New York Post, Gawker and The Wall Street Journal.

In addition to her work as a fine artist, Kennebrew has also founded her own merchandise line (www.junkprints.com), and she’s a contributing prop stylist in the beauty world to publications such as InStyle Magazine, Ebony, Sports Illustrated and People, among others.

We caught up with Kennebrew by phone in a Q&A to find out more about her work.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you become an artist?

A: “I’m originally from Southern California. I studied in Toronto, and I live in New York now. I knew I was going to be an artist, or do something creative, from a very young age. That was going to happen either way. Mixed media seems to be my current medium, and I think it’s great for me to have multiple resources to use to express things.”

Q: I understand you’re a prop stylist in addition to being a fine artist. You’ve also created your own line of clothing, purses and accessories. Can you talk about that?

A: “I ended up getting into prop styling, literally, through my work. Folks would see it and they would go, ‘That looks really cool. Can you come on set and move some things around?’ It’s neat to have something that has different avenues of revenues and interest, outside of the creative stuff that you make, so it’s kind of the way everything balances out.”

Q: What do you draw inspiration from, and how does that play out in your artwork?

A: “My inspiration comes predominately from the way people interact with each other and themselves. We make a lot of decisions, particularly in our first encounter, and sometimes they are on-point and they’re safe, and sometimes, they’re not, and they create a blockade for communication via through racial differences, age differences and all of those things. … My work sticks to that little space right in between there, where all of those little decisions come from, and that really inspired me to see the way people connect and disconnect from each other.”

Q: What would you hope audiences would walk away with after experiencing your work?

A: “I hope they will gain inspiration, and a really deep sense of possibility.”

How to go

What: “Explorations in Nude” by Chanel Kennebrew

Where: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Ohio 128, Hamilton. The Museum Gallery is an exhibition space in the Ancient Sculpture Museum at Pyramid Hill.

When: Art on view from Fri., Oct. 21 through Sat., Nov. 12. A free, opening reception will be held on Fri., Oct 21 form 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Kennebrew will be in attendance at the reception. Exhibitions are open regular museum hours, daily, noon to 5 p.m.

More info: Visit www.pyramidhill.org online or call (513) 868-8336.

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

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