Clint Mordecai reveals a humorous, dark sense of romance in exhibit
MORDECAI @ ILUME
SOLACE at the ilume Gallery, 4123 Cedar Springs Road. March 20â€“April 25. Opening night
reception 7â€“10 p.m. Zhibit.org/mordecai
Love hurts. But it’s also been known to inspire more than its fair share of artists.
Count Clint Mordecai among the latter.
His style, which he’s dubbed "Nuevo Pop," is inspired by, and reminiscent of, the works of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, but he’s put his own spin on pop culture in the past decade with subjects from superheroes to alcoholic femme fatales.
But his latest collection, Solace, explores more personal territory.
"What a lot of people don’t know is the inspiration came from having a series of really bad dates," he says. "I have honestly felt like I have been in a really bad Jennifer Aniston movie for the past year. I know everyone has had these feelings at one point in their life and can relate to it, gay or straight. Doing this collection has actually helped me find humor in it and I think it has come off well illustrated on canvas."
Working in acrylics, Mordecai first comes up with a theme and then approaches each painting as a piece, or chapter, of a larger narrative.
"I like to think of my collections as a graphic novel that tells an overall story to the viewer," he says.
The images in his new paintings are mostly monochromatic and tell the tale of star-crossed lovers. One striking work called Crossfire features a hunky Cupid figure pierced with multiple arrows. In Magenta, a beautiful woman with flowing hair is mending her heart, quite literally — with needle and thread.
"I am very happy with my latest collection because I really feel like the subject matter is a little riskier since I have really never done a collection with such an intimate emotional tone to it," Mordecai says. "It is definitely a far cry from my last Dollhouse show that had the dark, smoky’den of thieves’ feel to it."
He feels Solace is a lot different than his past shows in other ways, too.
"The subject matter is a lot more mature and the complexities of the pieces were more challenging," he says. "In the past I have really tried to stick with a 1950s Pop Art feel, but with the new collection I really wanted to go out on a limb and try something new. With this collection, I am focusing more on the human body and emotions. There are still a lot of satirical images that are true to most of my work, but this time I went with more of an untamed, tortured heart feeling. That is where the title Solace comes from."
Mordecai’s paintings have frequently been on display at JR,’s Bar and Grill, as well as at Uptown Players shows. Now, his art can be found at ilume with the opening of Solace Saturday.
"A portion of everything that I sell will go to AIDSArms for the duration of the time I am in the gallery and we will also be raffling off a painting that night for them," Mordecai says. "This is a great opportunity for someone to win one of my pieces and donate for a good cause."
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 19, 2010.