The opening reception for Scott Mayberry’s show “Love, Angst, and Other Signs of Life” was filled with just that: life. The collection of acrylic pieces by the Ellensburg-based artist is exhibited at Core Gallery and “explores the human need for intimacy framed against the ever present angst of distrust, separation, and hostility.” Mayberry evokes and depicts a dramatic range of emotions in his works, which have over his career included sculpture and paintings, large and small. The selection of acrylic paintings at Core Gallery demonstrate his ability to illustrate humanity in all its forms while staying true to a few central themes.
Scott Mayberry has been defined as a “pop surrealist.” In this show, perhaps this title is exemplified by the work “Collapse,” in which Mayberry skillfully renders what appears to be a church folding in upon itself. Mayberry’s deft, pictorial composition allows him to express emotion and symbolism with economy. In “How the Mighty Have Fallen,” the mix of grey tones and shimmering gold creates an dreamy luminescence around a figure in a traditional pose of bereavement. For Mayberry, “The pieces in gold explore the brittle nature of trusting in dogma to fulfill our need to belong.” This fragility is emphasized by the uneven top edge of the wood on which “How the Mighty Have Fallen” is painted. Slivers of wood jut from it, giving the piece a raw edge that feels apt.The largest piece in the show almost fills an entire wall. Its multiple panels are an allegory of intimacy—two figures afloat in a blue expanse of space, grasping for each other as cards of chance drift around them. The vibrant hues and sheer size of the piece emphasize the ultimate importance of human relationships—if not to everyone, than perhaps at least to the artist.
Also available at the Core Gallery show is Mayberry’s book entitled Life Underground. Mayberry illustrates a visual narrative set in a sci-fi fantasy world, but—as in all good sci-fi—offers a commentary for the present. The detail and the textural quality visible in the printed work is masterful and appealing.
“Love, Angst, and Other Signs of Life” is on display at Core Gallery through March 24.