Kelly and Kyle Phelps
Hooks-Epstein Galleries is very proud to present identical twin brothers, Kelly and Kyle Phelps’, The Blue Collar, an exhibition of ceramic sculpture. The exhibition will open at 11:00am on Saturday, February 22, 2014 and is followed by a reception for the artist from 6:00 to 8:00pm. The exhibition continues through Saturday, March 22, 2014.
Kelly and Kyle Phelps, are Associate Professors at private Catholic universities in Ohio. Kelly Phelps is an Associate Professor at Xavier University (Cincinnati) where he oversees the sculpture department. Kyle is an Associate Professor at University of Dayton (Dayton) where he is the head of the ceramic department. Both Kelly and Kyle continue to work collaboratively to create their artwork and share a studio in Centerville (OH). The twins share numerous grants, regional and national exhibitions, and commissions. Notable private collectors of the twin's work include film director Michael Moore, and actor Morgan Freeman. The artist have also received as major reviews in the world acclaimed include Sculpture Magazine and American Craft Magazine.
Much of the twins' work is about the blue collar working-class, race relations and the everyday struggles of the common man and woman. The twins grew up in a blue-collar/factory environment in Indiana where they were inspired by family members and friends who worked in various manufacturing plants, steel mills, and foundries. These everyday people became working class heroes that have inspired over a decade of working class art.
For a number of years the twins have produced work that incorporates both the hand-crafted (clay/resin casts) juxtaposed with found objects/site specific objects. Kyle and Kelly have combined gears, corrugated metal and scrap-machined parts along with modeled ceramic/resin cast figures to create visual narrative compositions about the blue-collar experience. It is important for the twins to continue to combine hand-crafted art forms together with found objects to give their work an authentic sense of place and time. The found objects are in a sence historical artifacts. Much of Kyle and Kelly’s work not only allows the viewer to visualize their created compositions, but also allows the viewer to involve their other senses as well. Some of the found objects that they have incorporated into their work are soot-covered or soaked in cutting machine oils that emit a distinctive odor commonly found in automotive factories.
The Blue Collar continues through March 22, 2014.
For more images, please visit the full exhibition.