For his first solo exhibition, artist Josh Mayhem focused on his popular Blown Away concept, in which he augments sculptural forms with sideways strands of resin to create a wind swept appearance. Displaying twelve works along these lines in his aptly titled Solo Show at Beacon, NY’s Clutter Gallery, Mayhem has a long-standing history of expanding and exploring similar tendencies within his pieces before he himself evolves to a new premise, thus creating various art periods throughout his career. And, within this Solo Show outing, there are perhaps hints of where Mayhem’s creative attention will be focused next. But before being able to theorize about the beginning of a new art period within Mayhem’s oeuvre, it’s essential to grasp those that came before.

The Art Periods of Josh Mayhem

Mayhem’s first notable foray into the designer toy movement came in December of 2011, when he debuted eleven pieces at the Crewest Gallery‘s Holiday Bizarr event. Imbued with a sense of magical realism, these works mainly portrayed forest creatures outfitted with futuristic weaponry. Collectively referred to as the Askew Rangers, Mayhem would continue to add pieces to this line, describing his intent to be the depiction of beings “battling for supremacy in a world where survival of the fittest is the only law of the jungle.” In October of 2012, Mayhem added a Japanese flair to his military theme, birthing the Gunny in the process. Initially achieved by augmenting Kidrobot‘s Dunny and Fatcap forms, these Gunny works reimagined the vinyl sculptures into the likeness of Gundam mecha mobile suits. Given the secondary series name Mundam Wing in February of 2013, to refer to altered Munny forms, Mayhem was simultaneously evolving what would become his signature style during this time.

Playing on the duality of the word “acid”, implying both an impossibly corrosive rain and the effects of LSD, Mayhem’s Acid Rain series debuted in November of 2012 with the The Blotter piece. Using downward drips of resin in a psychedelic array of colors, giving the impression of the figure either melting literally or figuratively, this concept would evolve into Blown Away, as first revealed on a piece at the Clutter Gallery’s Custom Show in July of 2014.

Josh Mayhem’s Solo Show of Blown Away works

Returning to the Clutter Gallery with his Blown Away aesthetic, Mayhem added several more pop art focused pieces to his body of works, augmenting traditional toys from the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises for his Solo Show exhibition. Of course, proper designer toy movement sculptures weren’t outside of Mayhem’s purview, the artist displaying works like Blown Away Locks, using the Coarse form, and Candied Mayhem, built upon Candie Bolton‘s Bake-Kujira creation. But what really deserves note is the introduction of the Disintegrated evolution, involving the Blown Away style being applied to partial skeletal designer toys, granting the appearance that the “flesh” of them is being swept away to reveal the framework beneath. Presented on a trio of KAWSCompanion (Open Edition) – Flayed pieces as well as Jason Freeny‘s Half Ray Dunny, Ron English‘s Smiley Grin, and Luke Chueh‘s Dissected Bear Head, one can’t help but wonder if these works are heralding the beginning of a new art period for Mayhem.

Josh Mayhem’s Solo Show exhibition at Clutter Magazine Gallery had its opening reception on Saturday, August 12th from 6-9pm. All works in this exhibition will remain on display until September 1st, 2017 at the gallery’s physical location (163 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508).

View the gallery’s dedicated page for the exhibition

For more information on Josh Mayhem:
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