I have recently came in contact, again through Clio Art Fair, with a new work by Belinda McNeely, who had already participated in the fair last October, and I cannot avoid expressing my enthusiasm for this sculpture.
Belinda McNeely, Her, 2020, Clay on canvas
Belinda McNeely is a woman who comes from fashion and design field, and has recently approached the world of art creation with enthusiasm and a lot of talent, measuring herself with the modeling of leather, a dense and organic painting, ranging to the creation of clay sculptures.
The latter creations have struck not only my attention, but above all my imagination: Belinda McNeely manipulates raw clay, cooks it, paints it in white and embellishes it with gold leaf; the assembly is then placed on a black canvas, in order to enhance the volumes created and to enhance the lights and shadows games that rests on these sculptures/installations.
Belinda McNeely, Budding, 2019 Clay and Gold Gilt Sculpture mounted on black canvas
McNeely is a passionate artist and dedicated to her work and has recently created "Her", a sculpture that represents the upper part of a woman's torso, in which not only her savoir-fair as an artist is lights, but which also suggests her confirmation in the fashion industry. This culpture exalts the grace, the pride and the strength of femininity and in contemplating it, we find ouselves in front of the marriage between an evening dress enriched with sequins and an Amazonian armor. It reminds the Greek myths of Athena, the warrior goddess and Artemis, the goddess of hunting; but also the Roman and Renaissance allegories of Justice and Virtue.
McNeely creates with clay a light and powerful movement, almost modeled by the elements, and the movements of her fingers on the clay can be counted as van Gogh's or Monet's brushstrokes, and watching this bodice/armor evokes at the same time a banquet by the tsars and Joan of Arc before the battle; in this work, Boldini's attention to detail and the representation of Athena by Gustav Klimt merge.
Parallel to this last work by McNeely is the previous "Adonis II", this time it is a man's dorso in real size modeled on leather. For this work, McNeely has physically made a cast on the model's back, and according to her (but I don't doubt it), it was a very long job, which took many hours of sessions just for the cast.
Belinda McNeely, Adonis II, 2019 Life-size leather sculpture mounted on white canvas 48"x 36" $
Belinda McNeely website
Belinda McNeely artworks on sale on Artsy.net