Fear of Acceptance: recent paintings by Carl Medley III
November 27, 2018 admin

Fear of Acceptance: recent paintings by Carl Medley III

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A new exhibit by Norfolk artist Carl Medley III will be on view at BOJUart gallery in Virginia Beach’s ViBe District from November 16 to December 22, 2018. The work ranges in scale from small paintings to large murals and even site-specific installations. His work explores an idea that he refers to as “unpopucultural” which has to do more with the awkward side of pop culture. There is a sense of dark humor being used along with a foundation of realism execution to create tension and comfort between the subject and the viewer.

“I have found that I am able to create a very funny and uncomfortable reaction: the traditional view of how much a painting or sculpture looks like it’s a subject and the conceptual view of a message brand of cultural reference,” Medley says, “The result is a set of works that ranges from funny to sad to heartfelt that resonate with a broad audience reacting on different levels.”

Artist Carl Medley III. Image courtesy of the artist.A Virginia Beach native, Medley graduated from Cape Henry Collegiate graduate and earned a Bachelor of Fine Art from Old Dominion University in 2006. He is an accomplished graphic designer having worked on regional and national accounts with advertising agencies in Virginia Beach and Las Vegas, Nevada. Medley is active in the Hampton Roads creative community participating in many exhibits and shows since 2011. In 2017 he earned a Visual Arts Fellow ship in Painting from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He exhibited and received Honorable Mention in Virginia Beach Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) New Waves 2018 exhibit.After being awarded a 2017 professional fellowship in painting from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Medley immediately set out on his most aggressive art campaign to date by applying to group exhibitions, gallery proposals, mural ideas, etc., each one ultimately resulting in rejection. From this experience Medley created a body of work that explores the rejection process as both reflection and motivation. Fear of Acceptance, recent paintings by Medley, is a two-sided coin: fear from a community in accepting work that creates its own narrative outside of the status quo and fear from an artist who has found comfort in being an outsider.


Where do you find inspiration for your artwork?Honestly, I find inspiration in almost anything. It’s usually in the mundane or everyday occurrences. It’s why I feel like I’m able to create work that people can identify with because it’s something they know and can understand. I’m always writing ideas down on my phone as soon as I think of them.

What drives you to create?
I think ultimately what drives me to create are things like freedom of process, ownership of success and failure and an exploratory nature. As for who I create for, I think it’s a bit of both. I am only going to work on things that I would want or want to be a part of but I also like to create so that viewers can somehow find themselves in my work.

How long does it take you to formulate an idea for a painting and what is your process from the idea to the finished product?
I am pretty methodical and I take a while once I have an idea. My sketches are usually loosely based on what the final will be but they’re more for practicing form and studying color. Then I usually create multiple compositions on the computer to decide what setup I like best. Then I transfer the piece to the surface and work on it from there. It’s tough to give an actual timeline because I work full time so I don’t have 8 hours during the day to paint on something and it can vary from piece to piece.

What does your studio or work space consist of and look like?
I like to keep clean work and dirty work separate, so if I am spray painting, sanding, cutting, airbrushing, etc., I work in the garage studio so that I don’t have to worry about dust and dirt getting on anything. If I am painting, drawing or sculpting I do that in the second garage building or inside. A lot of times my wife and I like to work on stuff at the same time inside because we can listen to podcasts or just enjoy the indoor comforts and still work. As far as tools I am all over the place. Usually for painting I am using a decent quiver of brushes, lukas acrylic paints, an easel and a maul stick. I transfer my paintings with either a mini projector or an old school overhead projector. I also have almost all of my parents tools in my garage including ban saw, scroll saw, miter saw, drill press and router. I also usually keep a healthy number of spray cans on hand as well as house paint.

What advice do you have for artists just starting out?
Make something that you like and want to share. If you don’t care about it and don’t know how to talk about it there’s absolutely no reason for anyone else to be even remotely interested in it. Practicing at something is important, but knowing what you’re doing it for is just as important. Also, stop worrying if the world thinks what you’re doing is original. Chances are it’s not. If you can get past that and still want to move forward you will do great.

Artwork by Carl Medley III courtesy of the artist.

“Carl’s work makes me laugh,” said gallery owner Judy Jessen. “His realism-based observational humor makes him distinctly different. And that’s what I was looking for with the launch of the rotating pop up visiting artist exhibits that are in addition to the gallery’s collection of artists.”BOJUart is an original contemporary fine art gallery representing local, regional, statewide and national artists. We connect new and established collectors, interior designers, architects, and businesses to our diverse portfolio of original contemporary artists. Ranging from large-scale environmental photography to mixed media, painting and glass, the work is on display in the studio gallery in Virginia Beach’s creative ViBe District. The gallery also features a visiting artist exhibit. Open Thursday 12-5PM, Friday 12-5PM and Saturday 9-1PM. First Fridays 12-9PM. Extended hours available opening by appointment.

BOJUart donates a portion of every artist’s piece sold to their cause. Medley has chosen the Norfolk SPCA to provide animals with food, shelter and care according to their needs all with a generous measure of love and compassion.

On First Friday December 7 from 6 – 9PM the artist will be available to meet and talk about the inspiration of his work and current exhibition at BOJUart gallery located at 1703 Mediterranean Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.

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