Viridian Artists is pleased to present "Bike Works", a solo exhibition of mixed media works by the artist Robert Mielenhausen. The exhibit will continue from October 15th to November 2, 2013 with an opening reception on Saturday October 19th, 4:00 - 7:00 pm and a Wine and Words event with the artist on Saturday, November 2nd, 4:00 - 6:00pm.
In this body of work, Robert Mielenhausen explores the bicycle as a sculptural form in the streets of Manhattan, finding the combination of lines, angles, and the symmetry of the circles of the wheels, visually compelling. He begins the works by photographing bicycles that are marked with age and miles rather than those that are new, comparing their bodies to the bodies of people- meant to function well in a certain way, but never everlasting. For the artist, the bike represents freedom, and learning to ride a bike gives a child their first expression of freedom.
As an artist, Mielenhausen's focus has been to combine the immediacy of photography with painting and mixed-media to emphasize the texture, color, form, and light in the images he has created. He sees this series to be as much about the street as it is about bicycles, using the street as an environment with the bicycle as the subject. The artist utilizes a variety of materials in the building of the work, some traditional, some not. He incorporates objects saved and found on the street and combines them with photographs mounted on board, then coated with wall board compound, sand, acrylic pigment, and spray paint.
Mielenhausen's images expand beyond the picture plane with both elements of abstraction as well as literal renderings of pictorial images depicted in the work. In these works, the bike is a witness to life for no one is riding them as they sit surrounded by life. They wait for their rider to return, or for life to just happen as in "LingeringThoughts" with its heightened shadows and air of mystery or "Passing" with the people watching or "School's Out" or "Guess" with the poster reminscent of Marilyn in the background.
Robert Mielenhausen has been showing art since the late 70's at OK Harris Works of Art, the 2012 Architectural Digest Home and Design Show, Water Mill Museum, Guild Hall, Islip Art Museum, and Onward Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. His work is included in the collections of private, corporate, and educational institutions.