By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University’s Nona Jean Hulsey Gallery will present California artist Michael Pearce’s exhibit of “The Secret Paintings” on Friday, September 1. A public reception will be held that evening from 6 to 8 p.m.
The exhibit will be on display from Monday, August 21 through Friday, October 20. The gallery is located in OKCY’s Norick Art Center at 1609 N.W. 26th Street.
“The Secret Paintings” is a series of 26 large canvases recalling Renaissance and pre-Raphaelite masters in their ambitiousness, complexity and scale, and in their theatrical grandeur, according to a press release.
This will be Pearce’s second stop during his national tour which will include venues in California, Alabama, Florida and Texas.
The show will feature Pearce’s latest “spectacular four-panel painting, “Chariot,” which spans 32 feet, with a circle of girls parading in a jubilant celebration of the sun.” Other dramatic images include a commanding magician dressed in stripes casting a spell, a skeletal angel of death wading through a sea of skulls, and a pilgrim traveling in a picturesque landscape overwhelmed with flowers, the release stated.
Pearce uses the ancient imagery and traditions of his British ancestors, introducing them into magical settings starring beautiful women and handsome men. The paintings pay homage to diverse cultural landmarks including Harry Potter, the Bible, the “Da Vinci Code” and medieval tarot cards, the release added.
“The Secret Paintings” strike a chord for a new kind of art moving forward from the weary pessimism that has dominated international art for the past century,” said gallery director Holly Moye.
“Pearce’s paintings are optimistic, beautiful and democratic and designed to appeal to an American audience,” Moye added.
In his book Art in the Age of Emergence, Pearce states, “We are moving beyond the negative impact upon human consciousness caused by the first half of the twentieth century… We all know what an emergent experience feels like: it is a moment of harmony, of wonder, of completion, felt both as a deep affirmative feeling of unity and as a physiological experience that takes place in the brain.”
A popular and strong influence of the international representational art community, Pearce co-founded TRAC (The Representational Art Conference), bringing artistic icons such as Odd Nerdrum and Roger Scruton to California to meet their American peers.
Pearce has been featured in Juxtapoz, Fine Art Connoisseur, art ltd., Beautiful Bizarre, and KCET Public Television’s Artbound. Fine Art Connoisseur describes his work as “magnificent” and “outstanding.” Juxtapoz called it “beautiful,” while Beautiful Bizarre described his work as “magical worlds revealed within his impeccable, mysterious paintings.”
KCET stated: “Massive, mythical, and brimming with allegorical subtext, Michael Pearce’s paintings demonstrate a subtle alchemy all their own — the transformation of ordinary oil paint and canvas into narratives that embrace the magic and romance of an earlier era.”
Admission to the Nona Jean Hulsey Gallery is free to the public. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
For more information about Michael Pearce, visit www.gildedraven.com or call 805-444-7716.