Recently, Ayla and I stopped by the home studio of local artist, Amanda Gehin. Amanda and her boyfriend Idris Raoufi are in the process of renovating an old book bindery in Old Hyde Park to be both a live/ work studio and a new home base for the 816 Bike Collective. Seeing the studio space in process was invigorating, all of the potential the space has is quite exciting. Amanda’s works are mostly small-scale gouache paintings that look like children’s book illustrations. They are woven with characters that reference architectural elements – stairs, walls, and turrets to name a few- and vibrant multicolored patterns. She has also worked on a larger scale and with stop motion animation.
In her studio located above the old book bindery, we were greeted by a room that featured a chevron couch. The room’s color palette reminiscent of her work; a blue floor, bright lime cabinetry, offset with neutral wood paneling. Amanda showed us more of her portfolio, we saw a timeline of her work’s growth, stemming most strongly from the playful nature of the collages she made from her stop motion animations. We could more easily see the sense of play she has when making her images.
In talking, we discussed where she draws her imagery, and it was interesting to see yet another tie to her home. She has collections of images from the book bindery and uses them as references for her work. One particular image collection of the now defunct Kansas City trolley system is the main feature in her piece Venus in (Public) Transit 2012. Often her characters are made up of colorful patterns, and her compositions drive narrative decisions. Her work has many different characters but each piece is tied to a pattern with a heavy super matte quality in her paint.