Evan Mazellan: Eye Care
Evan Mazellan, Eye Care
May 20, 2022 - June 25, 2022
Massey Klein Gallery is pleased to present Eye Care, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Evan Mazellan. The exhibition will be on view from May 20th through June 25th at Massey Klein Gallery’s capsule exhibition space, located at 136 Eldridge Street. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 21st from 4-7pm. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery. For press inquiries or questions regarding works available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think a lot about bodily injury, deformity and identity, probably because I was born with a cleft lip and spent most of my childhood dealing with it. So, my paintings have a lot to do with examining my own features and emphasizing the impossibility of perfection: heavy subjects but I try to keep things light.
Most of my ideas come to me while commuting in New York - on the train, in a car, on a walk - I see things, pass the time listening to audiobooks (Pynchon’s Inherent Vice), watching movies on my phone (Carpenter's Escape From New York), or listening to albums like Smile and Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys.
When I was making the paintings for Eye Care, I was looking at the book Surfing Fundamentals by the legendary surfer Nat Young. The book was a gift from my friend Brent, who taught me to surf, when I was in New Zealand thirteen years ago. Published in 1985, it shows big waves, bowl cuts, and surfing instructions - shapes and subjects that repeat themselves in my new work.
I’ve been painting surfers for the past few years now, but my headspace changed a bit, probably because last year my family moved to Brooklyn, next to the Gowanus Canal. We started taking walks over and around the canal and I noticed the strange personality of the glassy water compared to the ocean next to our old apartment in Rockaway Beach. The canal’s oily stillness is a thing that somehow found its way into my work.
I paint water like ripped strips of collaged paper and I paint figures like clothes crammed into a suitcase. I start each work by drawing the toes and work my way up. I try to fit things in - whatever works. By the time I reach the top, my figures are hunched and skewed as if viewed from the bottom of a massive swell.
-Evan Mazellan, April 2022
Evan Mazellan graduated with a degree in Illustration from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2013. Mazellan’s paintings have been featured in solo exhibitions at Bunker East and Bunker West, curated by John Garcia (2021); Indiana Wesleyan University (2021); the Rockaway Artist Alliance in Queens, NY (2019); and Marion Design Co. in Marion, IN (2017); and in a two-person exhibition alongside artist Becca Shmuluvitz at Gallery Diorama in Brooklyn, NY (2020). His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Rockaway Artist Alliance (2021), Shrine Gallery in New York City (2021), The Holy Art in London (2021) and Reis Studio in Queens, NY (2017). Mazellan and his paintings have been published in print and online publications, including Architectural Digest, The Rockaway Times and The Wave. Evan Mazellan lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.