Carmen Neely (b. 1987 in Charlotte, North Carolina; lives and works in Chicago, IL) enticingly works in the tradition of Abstract Expressionism with a particular lens of femininity and sensuality. Evoking a sense of liberation, her abstract paintings are bursts of colorful and calligraphic strokes on delicate and soft backgrounds, capturing an inner world. The artist translates her lived experience into a personal language of gestures. Those expressions of identity and memory are extensions of a Southern upbringing, and a culture that values sentimental objects shared through generations of family and friendships.
Each gesture lives on the canvas, a translation of her spirit and a component of a particular narrative. She is a collector of memories and conversations that risk being forgotten without an intentional method of honoring the ephemeral. The process is about intricacies of interpretation. Often stemming from intimate and romantic relationships, each mark acts as subtle subversion as well. The resulting works are new methods of language with a very personal undertone that invite viewers into a space of vulnerability, language and memories.