As if words could not be created for the perfect imperfect, tiny, poetic moments of life, Irish oil painter Chloe Early finds a way to shows us those moments, and to show us ourselves. In lyrical and abstract narratives, Early reaches deep into the human soul to find the quiet, the perfectly imperfect split seconds where we let go. Represented in oil on linen or aluminum, Early pinpoints the ambiguous moment of panic, whether in the glory of the rise of the danger of the fall. Her technical style has a fascinating contrast between fully rendered, photo-realistic painting and drippy, dreamy haze. With custom photo shoots for each new series she creates, she uses aerial performers as models, to get the perfect expression of the freedom in the fall.

Her paintings create romantic and lovely symbolism, narratives and portraits, evoking the lyrical soul in all of us. Images of women floating next to birds-in-flight, girls falling with a full hand of balloons, all  while looking for hope as they are suspended in mid-flight. We, the viewers get to peek inside these intimate moments, dripping with anticipation of something; uncertainty blurs areas of the pivotal floating moment, making it all a bit like a dream. Her techniques are flawless, and her attention to light and dark adds to the emotional nature of her paintings. The play with gravity adds a confusing weight that not only reminds viewers of their humanity, but their deep desire to transcend our gravitational confinement, like birds and spirits. The subtle use of symbolism adds much conceptual weight to her work when viewers pay attention, but even for the non art-obsessed, these works are magnetic and gorgeous.

Early’s work is so moving that last year musician Alicia Keys wrote a song inspired by one of her paintings, and called it “Zebras and Airplanes.” She also created one of U2’s recent music videos with producer and director Robert Francis Muller, for the song “Iris (Hold Me Close),” where she tells a poetic and visually stunning coming of age story of a young boy in Ireland, incorporating her own paintings in some ways as well. Early’s last series, “Suspended” debuted in London at the Outsiders Gallery last year, and since then she has had a baby and is easing into motherhood and a new series of paintings, with her baby and artist husband Connor Harrington in London.

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Suspended from Andrew Telling

Suspended is a collaborative film between artist Chloe Early and filmmaker Andrew Telling. The film is a meditative response exploring the characters, colour and motion in the work Chloe Early created for her ‘Suspended’ exhibition.

 

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