Have you ever seen a car so sexy that you wanted to run your hands all over it, maybe even stretch out luxuriously on the hood? The Jaguars, Corvettes, and even the Edsel in Cheryl Kelley’s series “Detailed” are those kinds of cars. These objects are impressive enough, but when you consider that you are admiring not elegantly composed photos but oil paintings, they are even more breathtaking. Along with pinup and boudoir photography, the dominion of male artists over car art is being left in the dust. While Robert Bechtle paints photorealistic automobiles in their natural, middle-class habitats, Kelley takes them out of context, removing their utilitarian role and elevating them to works of art, freeing her to infuse them with hyperrealistic detail. She works from photographs taken at car shows and museums. Rather than filter out the surroundings reflected in the windows and slick paint jobs, she embraces it, reproducing the mirror images of vehicles beside them as well as steel beams overhead and sometimes bystanders. Rather than distracting, the result accentuates curves and aerodynamic lines while immersing the viewer in the scene. “Detailed” promises to be one bitchin’ ride for tonight’s First Thursday art crawl.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: June 7. Continues through June 30, 2012