Cirque Noir: Kelly Denato, Kathie Olivas & Stickymonger @ AFA Gallery

Come explore a new collection of paintings and sculptures as AFA Gallery proudly presents Cirque Noir, a 3-woman exhibition featuring an imaginative scope of works by Kelly Denato, Kathie Olivas, and Stickymonger.

Where real and surreal dance alongside the many contrasts that dominate our daily lives, each artist pushes deep into water of these experiences and conveys a spectrum of unique interpretations. Through a diverse blend of media and symbolism, the result of this new collection is truly inspiring.


Cirque Noir: Kelly Denato, Kathie Olivas & Stickymonger

Opening Reception:

Saturday, October 7, 2017 | 6-8 pm

Exhibition Dates:

October 7-28, 2017


AFA Gallery

54 Greene Street | New York, NY 10013 | ph. 212.226.7374

For additional images and information, please contact michael@afanyc.com

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AFA Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by artists Kelly DenatoKathie Olivas, and Stickymonger. This series of painting and sculpture will explore the enigma of the face behind the masks we wear and expose the secrets of the beautiful and macabre that lies beneath. Juxtaposing the real with the surreal, the artists in this exhibition have accepted the challenge to express complex visions without superficiality and to inhabit the curious space between attraction and revulsion. In an exploration of the dichotomies present in our everyday lives, Cirque Noir features a series of paintings and sculptures that challenge our perception of good and bad, beautiful and ugly, real and superficial. Artists Kelly Denato, Kathie Olivas, and Stickymonger, each working in diverse media, address these dichotomies through figurative work that is at first blush visually engaging and beautiful, and which, under closer examination reveals its complex symbolism.

Responding to the anxiety provoked by the manner in which each of us is observed, Stickymonger’s work is representative of the gaze. Utilizing eyes throughout her work and as primary subject matter, She embraces that which both fascinates and frightens her.  By incorporating these eyes into her work the Artist strips them of their power, while simultaneously encouraging them to look back at the viewer that views them creating a participatory experience.

Kathie Olivas’s work is a study of the human preoccupation with aesthetic beauty and its ability to provide comfort where typically there is none. By assigning “cuteness” to her sculptures and paintings, Olivas distracts the viewer from their involuntary response of revulsion and compels them to spend more time confronting those things that make them shudder. Olivas deftly fuses the weird with the adorable, the creepy with the alluring, through her use of delicately applied oil paints and of found objects. The finesse of the objects themselves allows them to serve as vehicles for Olivas’s messaging: suspect those things that are most familiar rather than those that are not.

Kelly Denato’s body of work is perched at the boundary where optimism and happiness meet tragedy and darkness. Human experience has shown that happiness and sadness are inextricable from one another, that one may not exist without its counter. Denato’s work encapsulates the moments in which one extreme may turn into the other. Delicately rendered sylphs float within their own consciousnesses, entangled and entranced by their dreams, oblivious to the menace of the darkness around them. The paintings belie their complexity through Denato’s masterful application of glaze-like paints and candy-colored environments.

Opening Night

From left to right: Heidi Leigh (owner of AFA Gallery), Kelly Denato (artist), Michael Ruple (gallery director at AFA), Kathie Olivas (artist), and Stickymonger (artist).

Kathie Olivas

Girl with Cat

Two Faced Girl Series: Ivy May


Seated Esther


Kelly Denato

I am More Than What You See

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours


The Death of the Dancing Bear



 Sick Girl’s Club

 An Ordinary Day

 Relax in Anxiety

 Teacups Have Eyes

About Author

Internationally exhibited artist and creator of Wooden Ophelia, Bella Harris is not only the Online Editor at Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, she also oversees all staff writers and helps support website functionality and development. As a contributing writer for the website, active copy editor, and editorial photographer, she plays a vital role in the growth of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine while working closely with advertisers and artists. Wooden Ophelia is a contemporary collection of original moon designs, handmade woodwork, artwork furnishings, and sacred crystals... all to enchant your home.


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