Ain’t No Crying To Your Momma

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Ain’t No Crying To Your Momma  Mixed Media 73″ by 46″

This Kris Gebhardt painting is a picture-book pep talk in mixed media. Whether looking for life-skills, business advice or lessons in endurance, this work fills the bill. No matter the situation, Ain’t No Crying To Your Momma is the nudge (read: kick in the ass) needed to fight back and persevere.

Gebhardt didn’t really have anything in mind when he stood in front of the 73” tall x 46” wide canvas. As he worked on the background, slowly the “90 pound weakling” began to take shape. Lithe and muscular, the subject’s eye patch and missing tooth indicate that he’s been beaten up. Perhaps he started his own business, began an acting career or just got his first job out of College, only to realize that life is never as easy as it seems. “Early failure,” according to Gebhardt “is far more valuable than early success.”

Like many of Gebhardt’s heroes, our fighter is dressed in the marquise pattern (or jester’s clothing) and clearly has some choices to make. Is he going to be the fool and get clobbered? Probably, but what he does with this experience is what matters. Does he go in for round two, or does he go “crying to his momma?” Each person faces this same dilemma after failure, heartbreak and disappointment. Is it time to back it up and start all over? Maybe time to pack it in. But, wimping out — as evidenced by the title — is never the answer.

Featured @ Red Dot Art Show Miami Nov 30 – Dec 4, 2016

Red Dot Miami

Coldplay By Angela Gebhardt

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Coldplay By Angela  Gebhardt Mixed Media 80″ by 84″ $19,750 Featured @ Red Dot Art Show Miami Nov 30 – Dec 4, 2016 https://www.facebook.com/Red-Dot-Art-Show-84330846839/

 

 

Echoes Of Breath

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Echoes Of Breath

By Kris Gebhardt

Mixed media 57″ by 43″

In severe cases of cardiovascular disease and other illnesses, when the heart is weak and the lungs fill with fluid, breathing becomes desperate and shallow. This is a raspy hiss instead of a seamless, white noise. Artist Kris Gebhardt is familiar with this tightrope walk between life and death — these echoes of breath resonate from his physical training days with recovering heart attack and cancer patients. The angry imitation of taking in oxygen portrayed in this painting haunts the viewer, while offering some solace at the same time.

Reminiscent of a broken reed on a wind instrument, these Echoes of Breath, each fighting not to be the last, were recorded in the subconscious of Gebhardt, until one day the cadence manifested as a frail beauty dressed for a party. Unclear as to whether she is celebrating her victory or embarking on a battle, her strong chin and upright posture contrast with her ashen skin and gaunt face. Is that a wig with hastily drawn eyebrows or merely a festive scarf to hide her loss?

She is depicted on a scrap of canvas that stands 57” tall x 43” wide and is smaller than many of Gebhardt’s works. This piece symbolizes his non-art career — his other passion — rebuilding the broken, the beaten and the dammed. Once again revisiting his gritty style and somewhat sinister overtones, Echoes of Breath is dedicated to all those whom Kris Gebhardt has helped regain life, mobility and strength.

Mothers Worry When Vision Gets Blurry

mothersworrycurrent smMothers Worry When the Vision Gets Blurry by artist, Kris Gebhardt, is whimsical and carefree when compared to some of his earlier works. Straying from his usual gritty style, this 58” tall x 49” wide blend of charcoal, pencil, oil and acrylic paints was created in May 2016 as a Mother’s Day present for his wife, fellow artist, Angela. Rife with symbolism, it represents three generations of the artist’s family in a precise and clean manner, with a nod to the concept that motherhood is ever changing and never finished. Quite unintentionally, Gebhardt started with a blank reclaimed canvas when the heel and leg began to appear. As he moved throughout the space the rest of the form took shape. The left shoulder is carved, crude and unfinished — much like motherhood. Part of the painting is sketched and looks incomplete or fading just like part of a woman fades when she becomes a mother and then again as her children venture further on their own.

Gebhardt loads the canvas with a compelling backstory and significant hidden meanings. The balloons represent each of the couple’s four children in varying degrees of floating away — or being on their own. The form’s posture is reflecting a sense of pride in a job well done — as if saying, “Look what I’ve accomplished.” She has extra long arms for hugging more children and elongated legs for chasing after them.

 It’s the bird’s representation of previous generations that fully rounds out the painting’s symbolism. After two of their grandparents passed away the children saw cardinals and believe that the bird represents their departed family members.The background is gray because so much of parenting is muddled — neither black nor white; sometimes even choosing to become a mother is not an easy decision and causes feelings of angst. The clown suit is another reference to Gebhardt’s lead playing the fool. Going along to get along. Being the scapegoat and playing the fall guy.

The title is from the notion that children are distracting as they are growing up and then a woman needs to find her way again once they have left the nest. Mothers Worry really hones in on the importance of a mother and of learning from previous generations. Parenting is very cyclical and family always returns to help the next generation.

Mixed media on canvas 58″ by 49″