Chelsea Velaga's "Mouth Breather I"

Chelsea Velaga. Mouth Breather I. Pen and Ink on Paper. 14" x 20".

Chelsea Velaga. Mouth Breather I. Pen and Ink on Paper. 14" x 20".

Chelsea Velaga, a Nashville based artist, writes about her series "Mouth Breather" :

"The clean, yet vaudevillian nature of these drawings allows the implied sexuality to retain a sense of comedy. The graphic quality is offset by a fleshiness that slugs through each piece; the exaggerated folds and excretions of the physical forms are buffered by a unique sacrilege that twists traditionally iconic symbols of patriotism into nightmarish compositions. The content of each drawing varies, yet all retain a similar sense of pornagraphic lampooning of patriotism and American iconography. The work remarks on the ubiquity of this iconography by further inverting what these symbols have come to represent, revealing a derelict underbelly of American patriotism. The three colors used throughout the work echo the flat color of the flag and traditional fabric banners. Red, White, and Blue become Red, Black, and Flesh. The harsh contrast and similar color values mirrors that of the flag, but evoke a more physical and bodily connotation, thus rejecting the cold starkness of the flag. The iconography provides a mishmash of traditionally American symbols as well: stars, stripes, crosses, hot dogs, fast food, etc. The images are woven into chaotic compositions that retain a centrality on the page, owing to the graphic contrast of shape and color. The interactions between these images investigate and caricature ubiquitous yet vague symbols of patriotism and nationalism. Specifically, Mouth breather VII provides a literal question in “but why?”, as well as specific visual inquiries into what these symbols have become and are capable of being."

You can see more of Velaga's work on her website, or follow her on instagram.

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