Enamel Pin Paintings by Todd Koelmel | Visual arts | Hudson Valley


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A self-taught artist, Todd Koelmel spent a lot of time in museums as he developed his own artistic style. In addition to worshiping at the feet of the masters on the walls, Koelmel was also struck by the artistry of some of the items for sale in museum gift shops. “Museum gift shops often sell art enamel pins. It was at the Andy Warhol Museum that I first noticed them and started collecting them,” says Koelmel. “Some of them were so cool, in terms of Pop Art, that they themselves deserved to be in the museum, not just in the gift shop. That’s how I got the idea of ​​blowing them up and turning them into wall sculptures.

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Koelmel’s enamel pin paintings cover a great deal of Pop Art territory, from Andy Warhol’s portrait in a creepy wig to a Roy Lichtenstein-style explosion to a reproduction of Keith Haring’s Crack Is Wack mural. . There are also other cultural ephemera in the series – a shark inspired by Damien Hirst, Van Gogh’s bed from his painting Chambre à Arles, a portrait of Grace Jones, a cheeseburger, a Mondrian grid. “It’s really a way for me to pay homage to the art history that I studied and that brought me to where I am,” says Koelmel. “And a whimsical way for me to engage in things I wouldn’t otherwise paint.”

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Click to enlarge

In a definite nod to the aesthetic of the gift shop, the paintings – which measure 28 by 36 inches – are wrapped in cellophane, marketed art knick-knacks.

Koelmel’s enamel pin paintings are on display until the end of April at Level 2 Art Gallery, a pop-up space at 56 North Front Street in Kingston. A vernissage will take place on April 9 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Todd Koelmel: Paintings”

@ Level 2 Art Gallery

56 Front Street North

Kingston, New York

When: Until April 30

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