Bright balloons suffocated by murky cloud, starved landscapes flourishing under flowers and dark urban ruins teeming with light, Chloe Early paints post-apocalyptic prospects laden with themes of redemption and hope.
Working in oils on linen and aluminum panel, Early's dreamlike sequences capture the drama and emotion of Renaissance and early Baroque works of art perfectly. Her colour-saturated mini-narratives combine the splendour of Renaissance and Romantic painting with the rawness of contemporary life, a splendid example of the iron fist in a velvet glove strategy, examining the sensitive and personal aspects of conflict, ambition and entropy in an opulent, cinematic style.
Her debut solo exhibition Suspended, displayed at The Outsiders London in Spring 2014, questions what we worship these days. The series was inspired partly by Gian Lorenzo Bernini's infamous mid-1700s sculpture, The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, a carving known for its compelling combination of both religious and sexual euphoria. With her deft hands, Chloe examines the role of wonder and rapture in both art and in life.
Early's work is uplifting yet dangerous and unsettling. With bodies seemingly suspended between a rise and fall, the figures hover in a celestial space, weightless and transient. Chloe elevates them out of the background noise in order for them to experience a state of ecstasy, a feeling not possible in our contemporary world. Both the soft metal coming through the oils and the juxtaposition of birds of prey in Encounter and Interceptor and balloons in Something Shiny Slips Away give each piece a haunting fragility, something which is poignant in our culture of excess and frivolity.
The artist states, "every ecstatic moment comes with the knowledge that moment will pass".