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A delightful treat: Elisa Contemporary Art opens Sweet at The Design Studio in Bridgehampton
Peter and Madeline Powell, A Pair of Big Pops, 2014. Acrylic on Canvas, 36 x 60.

BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY.- Elisa Contemporary Art presents Sweet at The Design Studio in Bridgehampton, NY. Sweet is a confectionery delight featuring the Candy inspired artwork of Hawaii Hyper-realists Peter and Madeline Powell and Florida multi-disciplinary artist, Paula Brett.

They are debuting two just completed paintings including Hamptons Pops and Pile-O-Gummis, and featuring limited edition Candala photography. The exhibit opened on July 7th and runs through August 4th, 2014.

Artists Peter and Madeline Powell are a husband and wife team, who have melded the precision of photorealism with the joys of eating candy creating a sensational experience – all from their studio in Hawaii! They have captured not only getting these delicious treats, but holding them, looking at them, and unwrapping them. The smell, touch, shape, feel, and taste of it all comes together through the dramatically over-sized images of Tootsie Pops, Gummi Bears, Bazooka Bubble Gum, M&M’s, and more.

Each painting starts with setting up and taking multiple reference photos of the subject matter -- in most cases over 72+ photos -- just to find the perfect shot. They often choose to concentrate on close-up, “larger than life” images of everyday things -- especially childhood favorites including toys, crayons and sweet treats. Then, the canvas is stretched and Peter and Madeline are both involved in the painstaking layout of each painting. Every element is completely laid out in graphite on the canvas in detail, from the shadows and highlights, to the folds, crinkles, lettering and reflections. The layout process can take several days, if not weeks to complete.

It is only then that the actual painting process begins. First with the smooth layering of the base colors, which in some cases is done with an airbrush. This allows for a very “flat” surface foundation without brush strokes. Each color is masked off separately and then the lettering is painted in with fine sable brushes. In some cases, precision tools from other industries are used including an old style architectural ruling pen which allows them to fill the pen well with paint. With the base colors and lettering complete, the shadows and reflections are painted in, followed lastly with the highlights.

Having met on Maui in 1976, Peter and Madeline Powell soon started working on each other's artwork and before too long, it developed into a natural way of approaching and completing a painting for them.

The Powells have exhibited their paintings throughout the US. They are in public and private collections including A&M Records (CA), BMW North America (GA) and The Slinky Corporation (PA).

Florida artist, Paula Brett has brought together the sumptuous with the sacred in her new series of limited edition Candalas. She has created and photographed a series of Mandalas she made with Candy! According to Paula, “The mandala symbolizes the law of the universe and since man is also a microcosm of the universe, many cultures believe that the mandala also symbolizes the human soul. Mandalas serve as collection point for universal forces…My intention with these candalas is to arrange everyday sweets into a pattern which becomes scared, where delicious turns divine, the enticing now exquisite.”

Paula Brett’s broad body of work from painting to photography to video incorporates various combinations of media dealing with ideas such as created identity, coincidence, ritual, and transitory spaces. She has exhibited work in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Budapest, Hungary; and Timiosoara, Romania.

According to Paula, "I am an artist who experiments with interactions. By testing the reactions between various art media and subject matter, my intent is to allow connections between different ideas, images and objects to reveal a new understanding for both the observer and the artist. My process often employs chance operations, the notion of “play”, and spontaneous creation."

Paula holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida where she maintains a studio.

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