NY Arts Magazine: Who is your most cherished “Art Crush?”
Matt Mignanelli: I’ve long admired the works of Ellsworth Kelly. The paintings have always spoken to me in a unique way, leaving memorable impressions with each encounter. There is a calm for me within his simplicity. His works exude a power that commands a space, makes no apologies, and fascinate me.
The success of each of Kelly’s works hinge upon decisions that appear simple, which is where the magic lies in these paintings. Kelly presents the viewer with decisions that merge to create a special energy within each work. The quiet intelligence in these decisions allows viewers to immerse themselves fully into Kelly’s world. When viewing his works I always think of the planning process, what goes into making these. There is a great vulnerability in minimalism; a pressure to have the work succeed with the most basic of tools and decisions can be overwhelming. When success is achieved the reward is unrivaled. Kelly guides the viewer with his confidence and grace through shape and color.
Kelly’s surfaces and the physicality of the works are complex and appealing. The uniformity within his color fields are painterly, yet restrained. When you discover a brush hair buried amongst the paint it’s a welcome surprise and reminder of how hand made these paintings truly are. The subtleties and nuances that Kelly is able to achieve through works that are bold in nature is the mark of a painter that has joined an elite few.
As you look at the body of Kelly’s work that now stretch the course of a lifetime, you see a strong determination and singular vision that has developed throughout decades. His visual language has progressed, while maintaining the course and never compromising. His career as a painter and the outstanding works he has produced can only serve as a great source of inspiration for the next generation of painters.