CC Calloway- Artist
CC Calloway’s visually alluring silkscreen prints invite you to take a step closer examining details and concealed messages. The added texture by use of a risograph creates a layer of depth to a flat paper surface. Studying the brilliant colors contrasting with the white background it is indiscernible for the laymans eye to determine the exact techniques used to achieve the final result. As the viewer, you begin asking yourself questions in an attempt to solve its mystery.
The images Calloway capture originate from photos taken on her smartphone that commonly have an emotional or symbolic tie. While snapping a picture Calloway’s mind is flooded with questions and contemplation. Through the application of multiple mediums, the process of printmaking offers her a release by expelling the rapid onslaught of thoughts. Writings on paper are an imperative component when displaying the collection of work. Calloway thoughtfully adds hidden notes for those willing to take the time to explore. Calloway shares, "When I write I think about all of the definitions of a word. Some people catch something, but every single thing I write can be taken in all context of the word."
"When I write I think about all of the definitions of a word. Some people catch something, but every single thing I write can be taken in all context of the word."
The need of self expression began early for Calloway. Early in her childhood Calloway recognized herself as an artist. A close relationship with a respected art teacher Cheryl Steel, helped foster Calloway’s talents. In her youth, Calloway’s work focused primarily on technical drawing and creating fauvist portraits. Once in high school, Calloway was struggling both emotionally and academically. She turned to art and writing as her drug of choice to allow her mind an escape.
“I have always said that a teacher could have thrown a brick at me and I wouldn’t have looked up at them to have noticed. I went to community college for two years before I enrolled at the University of Georgia. I believe that was a good experience because I wasn’t spoiled by a university’s resources. I basically had to make art on my own for two years. At the community college, we had lessons, but we didn’t have the facilities to create art in. When I got to the University of Georgia it felt like I was walking into Disney Land.”
Prior to attending college Calloway happened upon Twitter as a private way to share her thoughts away from the judging eyes of parents and friends. At that period of time, Twitter was in its infancy and in many ways uncharted territory. Calloway found solace in the ability to share her poetry in a safe space. She laughing admits she also enjoyed the opportunity to message celebrities. What 15 year old wouldn't enjoy that? She shares that Melissa Broder a writer and creator of the account, So Sad Today was an influence on her writing practice.
“Melissa Broder always struggled with anxiety. In the fall of 2012, she went through a harrowing cycle of panic attacks and dread that wouldn't abate for months. So she began @sosadtoday, an anonymous Twitter feed that allowed her to express her darkest feelings, and which quickly gained a dedicated following.” - by goodreads.com
When asked if she feels exposed having so much of herself out in the open she is confident in her response. “No, I don’t. Parts of my twitter are pretty embarrassing. I did have it private for a time because I thought people might think its too weird. Even in my Whitespec show, I debated briefly about not putting text in there. However, this wouldn’t be a show by CC Calloway if there wasn’t a poem included in it.”
Growing up in a technologically abundant environment Calloway’s work reflects those influences. She exhibits enormous intention in the arrangements of her work. Considering which direction the observer will take when entering the space and the appropriate height to display a print with the knowledge it will be viewed through the lens of a smartphone. "I like to think about the time between “likes” on social media. The time when someone is looking around where their phone is instead of looking at the screen. It’s interesting how few observers it feels like there really are. A lot of my photographs are centered towards the ground because I feel like that's where people look most of the time. We’re all too afraid to look up. So I play on that. The mundanity of the ground and how comfortable that view is."
Her messaging is both tied to technology, drawing from exeriences sharing on social media, and her youthful wonder. Thoughts of existential dread, missed opportunities, and the worries as one ages all permeate through her writing. Calloway’s subject matter contains raw transparency into her personal emotions. Her ability to explore her feelings with a degree of depth and without barriers is where her creativity ignites. The artist’s silkscreen prints, sculptures, and writings are a reflection of a maturity and self-awareness she possesses.
Calloway has garnered success at a young age. She is a 2017-18 Hughley Arts Fellow at WonderRoot and an artist-in-residence at Atlanta Printmaker's Studio. In May 2017, she received her BFA from the Lamar Dodd School of Art where she studied printmaking & book arts. Summer 2016, Calloway studied woodworking at Penland School of Craft. She has written and self-published four books of poetry including one photography book entitled My Favorite Word is Nothing. Calloway is currently writing her fifth book, Long Lasting Chew.
Calloway will continue to discover new ways to communicate with her audience. This fall the artist heads to the University of Texas at Austin to study an interdisciplinary program. She shares that she is excited to expand her work in sculpture, video, and to find ways to collaborate work with the technology community in Austin.
Current Two Person Show:
Upcoming Group Exhibition:
July 13th - September 8th, 2018 Hughley Arts Fellowship 2017-2018 First Person Plural, Museum of Contemporary Art - Atlanta, Georgia
Opening Reception July 12th 6:30-8:30 pm at Museum of Contemporary Art
Words Aileen Farshi
Images compliments of CC Calloway featuring work from Long-Lasting Chew exhibited at Whitespec 2018