‘Everything We Ever Wanted’, is a group show of paintings by young American artists Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella and Sarah Mikenis at the Nationale Gallery in Portland. Batten’s still lifes, Casella’s abstract jigsaws and Mikenis’s pop tribal portraits are a collage of provocations, visually arresting and unified in medium with intense colour saturations, yet diverse in expression.
Batten’s Matisse-like still lifes carry the trademark objects of a perceived bohemian life; flowers carelessly placed in a jar of water, layers of inspirational textiles, fabulously messy and carefree.
Casella’s puzzles are constrained by the canvas. Squashed in; they elbow for room like cogs in a mechanical techno machine they move around their maze.
Mikenis’s ethnic characters are confident in their get up. Excessive appliqué morphs, while the busy backdrops in monochrome and pastels animate their forms.
Hyper-realism with a palette that harps back to the excesses of the 1980’s, this is a generational take on aspirational life. “Life viewed within this construct of carefully edited online personas confuses happiness with affluence, relaxation with indulgence”.
Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis ‘Everything We Ever Wanted’
3360 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97202
Until 6th July, 2015
Images courtesy of the artists and Nationale, Portland Oregon