Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Serious Whimsy of Laura Connaughton at The University Club Winter Park by Fern Matthews

"The Serious Whimsy of Laura Connaughton”

The University Club of Winter Park
February 10 - 27, 2013

Passing the terra cotta fountains and neatly trimmed gardens of The University Club of Winter Park, one has the feeling of entering another time and place, as if traveling back to a time of elegance in the tropics. As the French doors swing open into the main salon, you are transported to the world of Laura M. Connaughton. This is a world reminiscent of Rousseau and Kahlo, yet mixed with the magic of OZ. This is “The Serious Whimsy of Laura Connaughton,” February 10 through 27.

Connaughton has created a body of work that is curiously engaging and well crafted, and at the same time, humorous and fanciful. It is often said that primates are the closest relative to man, and Connaughton has captured a deep sense of feeling and humanity in her paintings. These, however, are not your run-of-the-mill monkeys. Indeed, they seem to capture a universal sensitivity that is,,,well,,, human-like. The playful mind of the artist toys with the viewer, and upon closer inspection, one realizes that these are winged monkeys... her tribute to the magic of OZ.

The fun continues in “Ode to Frida,” a self-portrait that is a tongue-in-cheek visual ode to Frida Kahlo; “Exotic Treat,” highlights the artist’s skill while transporting the viewer to possibly Old Havana; and, the entire family of strangely familiar characters round out a delightful exhibition.

Someone once told me that the truest review occurs on your way home in the car. Hemingway, Amelia Earhart, Raffles, leather and tropics, adventure and old world charm...these are the icons that came to mind. While these paintings, rich in imagery from an expert hand, evoke  a sense of exoticism, the subjects themselves will certainly find a place in your heart. 

“The Serious Whimsy of Laura Connaughton” is exactly that: thoughtful fun. 

Laura Connaughton Fine Art & Design
studio: 321-226-8725

by Fern Matthews
Fern Mathews is a mixed media artist recognized for her textural work and use of color. Matthews’ work is included in both public and private art collections throughout the country and The Caribbean, and shows in New York and New Orleans.

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