MAY 3 – JUNE 2, 2018
Helikon Gallery is pleased to present ‘Confabulation,’ a solo exhibit of new works by Denver artist Jonathan McAfee. McAfee, who has been making waves in the local art scene since relocating to Denver in 2015, creates portraits that are consistently bold, vibrant, and eye-catching. In compositions that demand the viewer’s full attention with daring brushstrokes breathing life into every inch of the canvas, McAfee’s subjects feel deeply familiar. Though they seem to have emerged from a former era–a distinct sense of early 19th-century Southern America seeps throughout the work– each subject is given new life. Like the compositions themselves, it begins to be possible to imagine the stories of each of these individuals as rich, layered, and unique.
Artist Statement: In psychiatry, confabulation is a disturbance of memory, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive. My portrait paintings are all personal interpretations of many different people that are captured within a particular glimpse in time. The subjects that I choose to paint are now given this opportunity to be expressed, portrayed and remembered through my painting. Just as people form new memories that slowly become distorted and rearranged as time goes by, these are memories that belong to all of us personally and are therefore ours to keep for as long as we can. Through the vibrant colors I choose along with my expressive application of paint, I produce a distorted yet realistic portrait which remains as a new physical memory for everyone to experience, as time continues to pass all of us by. It’s unimportant for me to personally know the people I choose to paint; instead I get to know them through the time spent painting them.
Artist Bio: Jonathan McAfee (b. 1982) is an artist working in Denver, CO. After graduating from Herron School of Art and Design (Indiana University) with a B.F.A. in painting, McAfee began focusing on the figure and developing his expressive application of paint.He has exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science (Evansville, IN) and Artwork Network (Denver, CO). His numerous group exhibitions include Muses of Mt. Helikon IV at Helikon Gallery (Denver, CO) and The Self-Portrait Show at Gallery 924 (Indianapolis, IN). McAfee was awarded the second annual North American Artist Showcase (June 2016) through Professional Artist Magazine.
McAfee’s work is collected throughout the U.S. and Europe and he is represented by Artwork Network in Denver, CO and HUE Gallery of Contemporary Art in Wichita, KS.