Pillow Talk
Kelly Marie Breslin spreads the love
by Vincent Chung

In artist/fashion designer Kelly Marie Breslin's work, love permeates like in a pop song. Titles like Love is the Message, Trawl My Love, Love Forever, Puppy Love, and the upcoming Love Stone Fuckin' Rock, can't be more obvious. Remnants of these projects decorate her Logan Square home studio where she confides, "Having your own studio practice is romantic."

Working primarily through silk-screening, her messages grace t-shirts to posters to puffy installations. The work is saturated with illustrated shapes, bright colors, and playful double entendres, like the tidal wave that states, "You Crush Me."

In Trawl My Love, Breslin dangled a fisherman's net, filled with colorful pillows, from the Schopf Gallery on Lake ceiling. Each pillow is an artifact of past love: emotionally resonant objects, archetypal ideas of relationships, or just sentimental souvenirsócollected as if the net were dragged through Breslin herself. "Maybe being romantic is just not letting the actuality of things drag you down."

Breslin's urban pop aesthetic has proven popular in young Chicago boutiques because of its refreshing, child-like innocence. So pure, that to defile it as disaffected hipster kitsch is like cussing in a nursery rhyme.

While her artwork is playful, Breslin is no stranger to honing her vision in academic environments. Currently an MFA graduate student at Northwestern University, Breslin has jumped around the academic circuit. From her hometown's College for Creative Studies in Detroit, to New York's School of Visual Arts, to the Corcoran College of Art and Design in DC, back to Detroit to attend Wayne State University, and then to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Breslin seems more work than whimsy.

With retail clamoring for her hotcake-fresh designs, a profile in Anthem magazine, an appearance in Select magazine, a CIRA Grant (for a collaboration with fashion designer Soo Choi to be exhibited in Fall 2004), and her MFA Thesis Exhibition in Spring 2005, Breslin seems destined spread the love.

"I'm really interested in [a relationship's] potentialities. The things that happen between two rocks, two people, two images. What's in between? There's something that resonates inside. It's a strong feeling and once you feel it, you want more of it."

Breslin's website is www.luckymountain.com and she is represented by Bucket Rider Gallery in Chicago.

Kelly Marie Breslin, Trawl My Love,
2003, mixed media, dimensions variable.