Good and Lovely Camelot

Good and Lovely Camelot

“I create a show in black and white … and Pink.”

Of all the artist’s plentiful collections, one of the most prolific in her portfolio – and most representative of her personality and palette – is when she leans into her black, white, and pink to pull together a Lovely story.

The “Good and Lovely” genre applies broad-brush to a wide variety of her loveliest selections, but the most specific are the pieces that started it all – the pieces she chose to create to bring to life her ideas of “attraction” – Good and Lovely America; Marylin; Kiss; and Camelot. Each of these brought a single subject to life in a single focus – except one. When Lovely considered the muti-dimensional, larger than life personhood of Jacqueline Lee Kennedy Bouvier Onassis, one portraiture wasn’t nearly enough.

Poetry and Science

In the process of developing how to tell the story of a complex and immensely beloved character, Lovely began with a story. “Art is poetry and science,” Lovely says of her craft, and applying that to this piece she says, “I told you a story.” In the artist’s own words, this tryptic mounted collection “tells the story of [Jackie’s] life without words – a story of life in three stages of an American Icon. She started in white, peaked in pink, ended in black.”

“Camelot” debuted in the artist’s 2001 art show named for the collection and featuring the element of “attraction” with selections all painted in black and white with a medium hue of pink. Each piece (3 separate paintings installed together in gold frame) maintains a singular expression, setting light backgrounds against dark, both heavily influenced by Andy Warhol’s posterization process. That technique itself was selected as part of her through working through of a theme of “attraction” with an artform and legendary artist that represents attraction on a global and time-surpassing scale; an artist and artform that all but defined a generation and directionally influenced a contemporary culture far beyond the art world and into commercial manufacturing and household use.

Stories in Paint

Shown at the 2003 Copley Masters Invitational Show, Copley Society, Boston Massachusetts, this piece remains one of the most recognized cornerstone pieces of Candace Lovely’s thoughtful and influential body of work. Perhaps the most striking in the Good and Lovely anchor series, it is also symbolic of the artist’s process and passion to think deeply about her work – why she paints what she paints and the choices she makes in medium, technique, presentation, allegory, and even the relationship between her world of color selections.

It’s no accident; it’s what she pages through and develops intentionally before she ever brings brush to canvas. As she says with intense commitment and fervor on the subject of storytelling and history, “If I could write I would, but I tell stories in paint.”

It’s something that can be said of the breadth of her work, from early days of studying with classic instructors to recent creations and commissions. Camelot is a story to which audiences had already lived the prologue, but on every canvas, Candace Lovely takes seriously her role as master painter, creator, and storyteller, painting all things Good and Lovely.

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