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″

Untitled by Angela Gebhardt featured at SPECTRUM Indian Wells Art Show California

Spotlight Artist Angela Gebhardt

Meet the Artist sessions immerse the audience with the artists, giving them the opportunity to learn about each artist’s inspiration, story, and medium. In many cases, the artist also does a live demonstration, creating his/her next work of art.

The Spotlight Artist Program provides collectors a focused look at several cutting-edge artists who will each be creating a site-specific exhibition. The Spotlight Artists for Spectrum Indian Wells 2016 are Kris Gebhardt, Angela Gebhardt, and Maria Ana Davila.

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Art Business News Spring 2016 issue available at: https://appsto.re/us/oDrJY.i

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