Pity Robert Mellor—it must be hard to share the spotlight with Alexa Meade, our homegrown phenom, most recently profiled by CNN, Juxtapoz, the Washington Post, and the Telegraph. In case you’ve missed the buzz: Meade, a 23-year-old self-taught artist, paints in broad strokes directly on the skin of her models and their carefully arranged backdrops. When she photographs them, they fool the eye in a kind of reverse trompe l’oeil, making the 3-D look 2-D. (The subject’s eyes, however, always reveal the trick.) Though any follower of Meade’s work may have already seen several of the photos in Irvine Contemporary’s show in the media, the artist will be painting a model live each week in the gallery space. The next challenge for an artist who has gained such a following so quickly will be to keep us guessing. And Mellor? His layered, woodcut-inspired abstractions, as well as the spiritual paintings and woodcuts of a concurrent exhibition by street artist Gaia, are lovely.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M. TUESDAY TO SATURDAY TO JULY 24 AT IRVINE CONTEMPORARY, 11412 14TH ST. NW. FREE. (202) 332-8767.