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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Cares taken in the chrystal palace

Kyle Espinosa’s beautiful and intimate show “Take Care” opened Tuesday afternoon in the Chrystal Center Gallery, located in the basement of the John Chrystal Center. It is a personal look at Espinosa’s emotions dealing with past personal relationships, expressed through an installation of wallpaper, vinyl and digital collage.

Photograph by Joanna Silverman.

The space itself is filled with vibrant and energetic wallpaper patterns of dynamic blues, yellows, purples and magentas, all vying for attention at once and still somehow complementing one another. The pattern is interrupted occasionally by another pattern, an organic, chaotic mishmash of colors and lines.

On top of the wallpaper, flanking the collages, Espinosa layered white vinyl pieces drawn freehand on a tablet, which provide areas of visual calm among the turbulent wallpaper.
In front of this animated backdrop are mounted digital collages of appropriated and compiled imagery. Espinosa often uses images of cities and of women drawn from idealized pop culture images and from the glorified paintings the history of art.

In his artist statement, Espinosa explains, “My collages are configurations of disparate elements that I appropriate from search engines and image databases that come together to form aesthetically pleasing compositions. I use imagery that expresses my feelings of frustration about relationships.”

Amidst the lively images are strewn words and phrases, lifted from Espinosa’s sketchbooks. According to Espinosa, “The fragmented phrases and sentences that litter the collages … communicate the futility of my attempts to translate my emotions into words.”
In fact, the collages become a pop culture mash-up of conflicting images and emotions, sentences and stock images that, together, build a complicated and intriguing narrative that draws the viewer in.

The title for the show is a reference both to the new Drake album, which Espinosa listened to while creating the show, and to the feelings he ended up experiencing after putting the show together.

“‘Take Care’ is pretty fitting for what I’m trying to say,” Espinosa said, “because it’s just a catharsis, not a bashing.”

In his artist statement, Espinosa continued this thought: “With this show, I find emotional release. I hope to be able to purge these unwanted emotions through this act of catharsis.”
Overall, Espinosa said “Take Care” allowed him to work in a new way toward producing a purposeful installation that expressed the meaning he wanted it to.

“I got so much out of it,” he said. “My work is usually more process driven, and more divergent, and not convergent.  This was more convergent, where I actually had a goal in mind, because I was fueled by the emotions I was feeling at that particular point. It’s a very refreshing change of pace.”

Created during the past semester, Espinosa chose to install “Take Care” in the Chrystal Center Gallery after talking to Director of the Faulconer Gallery Lesley Wright.

“I was looking through available galleries and exhibition places, and Lesley Wright gave me a list and recommended me to this,” Espinosa said. “I showed her most of my work and she said, ‘The Chrystal Center Gallery might be the best place for your work because there are a lot of pristine walls and it just has the right amount of room for it.”

In the end, the exhibition succeeded in that it is as meaningful as it is beautiful. Despite the cold weather and distance of the gallery, it should not be missed.

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