High Street Gallery to host Kevin Clay

Image courtesy of Kevin Clay

Image courtesy of Kevin Clay

BEAUMONT — The High Street Gallery will host a graphic art exhibition by Kevin Clay, 6-9 p.m., Oct. 15.

Kevin Clay has created a body of artwork and merchandise to show and sell for this exhibition. Entry is free. Clay describes his work as, “Something between melty cartoons and this really idealistic representation of notebook margin doodles — exaggerated reflection of how I see the world.

“I experiment with a lot of different things, but I think representations of texture are something that end up in my work a lot even as I move from style to style. Poor little bundles of reflected anxieties, they tend to be.”

The Southeast Texas artist has been drawing for his entire life and graduated from Lamar University.

“In college, I took a lot of film classes so I spent a lot of time developing more of a photographic eye for things, with a heavier focus on visual symmetry and balance and things like that, which I think pushed me more into a graphic design and visual world that I had never thought of in a critical way before,” he said. “So it’s definitely been a mix of the formal and informal.

“I think fascination became education and the cycle continues on and on.”

Clay said he finds influences in the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring, as well as Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu, and the detailed and rich perspective of Wayne Barlowe.

Image courtesy of Kevin Clay

Image courtesy of Kevin Clay

“I also really like the work that Tyler The Creator, Kanye West and Drake have been putting in their pop-up shops,” he said. “I think all of those artists have a similar line of vision that merges a clean and simple ideal with a sort of grungy, city feeling that I really like.”

Clay said the music he listens to also influences his artwork.

“I find that when I’m working on certain pieces, or even when I’m not, I might hear a particular song and it might kick me into the mode where I’m feeling really ready to make something,” he said. “I think being alluring in art is a good thing. I think I have a kind of varied influence, but they all ride similar currents. I might see a simple little line drawing of something and admire it as much as an oil painting by an old master. And elements from both of those ends of the spectrum will end up in my work.”

The art reception will be followed by a musical performance at the nearby Texas Rose Saloon, featuring touring performance artists Terror Pigeon and Real Dom as well as other local musical acts. The beer bar is located at 2013 S MLK Parkway, within earshot of the Victoria House.

For more information, email victoriahousetx@gmail.com, or visit the High Street Gallery Facebook page.

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