Dave Hay brings “Magic and Flow” to The Greenfield Gallery
“Magic and Flow: A Collection of Contemporary Paintings,” by Dave Hay, on view at The Greenfield Gallery, June 7 through July 21, 2018, with an artist’s reception Friday, June 22, 6 to 8 p.m.
GREENFIELD, MA — Dave Hay likes to have fun when he paints — and it shows. His paintings are bright, energetic and playful. The retired public school art teacher and break dancer describes his aesthetic as: “Color, cool, and a sparkle of fun.”
The Springfield artist’s exhibit, “Magic and Flow: A Collection of Contemporary Paintings,” will be on display at The Greenfield Gallery, June 7 through July 21, with an artist’s reception on Friday, June 22, 6 to 8 p.m.
Hay’s exhibit includes both abstract and “pop portraits,” all painted in his bold palette.
“I like to have fun and make it colorful,” Hay says. “You can tell when something ‘clicks’ in the artwork; it’s authentic. You can tell the artist was connected to it and had fun creating it.”
One series of paintings, entitled, “Black Gurl Magic,” features portraits of instantly recognizable black women such as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Diana Ross and Laverne Cox, who thrilled Hay by “liking” his portrait of her on Instagram.
Hay first heard the phrase “Black girl magic” a few years ago in Chicago and felt it expressed, “The camaraderie and banter of black women, wherever they are.”
He recognized some similarities, or “flow,” between the culture of black women and the culture of gay men. In recognition of the similarities between these often marginalized groups, and in acknowledgement that his reception is on the eve of Franklin County Pride, Hay and The Greenfield Gallery will be donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of the “Black Gurl Magic” series to the National Black Justice Coalition. NBJC is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.
For his abstract work, Hay mentions Helen Frankenthaler and Cy Twombly as influences, among others. He likes to work with a variety of materials such as acrylic paint, ink, watercolor, and sometimes glitter. He never knows whether the materials are going to repel each other or blend together.
“You just have to relinquish control and let it happen,” Hay says.
He likes to switch between realistic and abstract ways of painting to keep himself on his toes.Switching to abstract work after concentrating on portraits can help infuse the more realistic work with the energy of experimentation.
“I find that when I change up my technique and my subject matter, I learn more and I grow more,” he says. “Sometimes I’ll work on four canvases at a time.
If I get stuck on one, I’ll move it off to the side and let it marinate. When I come back to it, it’s fresher.”
Hay’s advice to art viewers is straightforward: “Just take in art with your soul.”
The Greenfield Gallery, 231 Main Street, Greenfield, MA 01301
Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information: http://bit.ly/DaveHayGG