by C. Rogers
Whilst my tastes in artistic expression are not exactly Catholic they do tend to incline towards Outsider, Naïve, Brut and Visionary Art.
Thus I was intrigued and excited to be invited to a preview of the first exhibition of work of Visionary Artist, Steven V Mitchell.
A self taught Artist, Steven Mitchell has worked for many years as an internationally known and respected tattooist, and studied traditional beliefs in this field in a variety of indigenous tribal contexts.
Mitchell expanded further his creative expression by carving a series of crystal skulls until he eventually discovered the medium of painting; a realm which he felt held the necessary scope to express his visions.
The opening night of the exhibition was truly superb.
The venue became part of the exhibition itself with the chapel’s entrance dripping in roses and ivy leading to a custom built internal labyrinth and cunning reordering of natural and artificial light. This created the surreal feeling of walking into ones own reflection hidden within a painting at the inner edge of the maze, which, as one approached, become more dancingly deceptive.
Red wine flowed and red meat lay heavy on the groaning tables as a crazy mix of people reveled in the multidimensional art work.
Initially I scanned Mitchell’s paintings in a perfunctory manner as I was more struck by the powerful crystal and Sedona and Stonehenge Skulls which he had carved; however the more I walked around the maze of his paintings the more I found myself carried through the intriguing depths of the artist’s vision. I became aware of how a surprisingly wide spectrum of people were able to appreciate his work, from bikers, children and art teachers to H.R Giger and Leonard Cohen who glowed with complements in the comment book.
S.V. Mitchell journeys to intangible inner places from whence he brings and translates into art his visions of hell, humour, sex, death and subversion.
His work is a modernist maze of technology and sexual and pagan imagery which the humour and depth make unique.
I truly believe that Steve V Mitchell will go far in the art world, and carry us all with him on a wondrous and transformational wave, and I look forward seeing where his fabulous journey’s will take us all.
The Visionary Art of Steven V. Mitchell
PANDEMONIUM In The Rose Garden
Walcot Street Mortuary Chapel
Walcot Street, Bath, BA15UG