Bonfire of the Canvases

Updated 3 years ago Sundae Horn
Bonfire of the Canvases

Bid on Kitty Mitchell’s art or watch it go up in flames.

Save the art! It's up to you. Kitty says she will have “no regrets” about burning her paintings in a beach fire on August 9th.

“Burning Woman: The End of Art” is a silent auction, an installation/performance art piece, a genius marketing plan, and a chance for new artwork to rise from the ashes. 

“I’m making a sculpture to honor the event, to stand up in the bonfire,” she explained. “It’s got a wire armature and won’t burn, so I can do this again, and it can rise up again and again like a phoenix.”

Black Pony, 16x20
Black Pony, 16x20

This afternoon, Kitty is holding a “Last Chance Silent Auction” party at the Magic Bean Coffee Bazaar from 4–7pm. Over forty pieces will go on the auction table, including ten or so by Kitty’s daughter, Katy Mitchell, who owns the Magic Bean. Kitty and Katy are donating half the auction proceeds to Elizabeth Hanrahan for her wildlife rehabilitation on the island. Katy and Kitty will keep the other half of the money to buy more paint and canvasses.

“There’ll be nibbles and nosh, and the opportunity to buy delicious coffee drinks!” she said about today's auction and party. 

You can also bid online on the Magic Bean's Facebook page. As of this posting, Kitty says that 22 out of 45 paintings will "feel the burn!"  

If the paintings get bid on, happy art collectors will take them home. If not, Kitty will set them alight on Tuesday at 6pm at the lifeguard beach.

Lunch Break, 16x20
Lunch Break, 16x20

“I keep old paintings around to learn from them,” Kitty said, while sipping a fancy iced coffee drink at the Magic Bean. “I get into a zone, when I’m working feverishly, and when I’m done with a painting, sometimes I don’t even know how I did it. So I keep it for awhile.”

Kitty has learned all she needs to learn from the Burning Woman paintings. “I’m tired of tripping on them – I’m ready to move them on!” Even if that means moving them on to smoke and ash.

Milky Way by the Moon, 16x20
Milky Way by the Moon, 16x20

“To get bigger a blue crab has to break out of its shell and leave it behind in order to grow. In a chrysalis, the caterpillar completely dissolves before it turns into a butterfly,” she said. Kitty is ready for metamorphosis.

I asked if the Last Chance auction was really the last chance, or if it would be possible for someone to wrest a canvas from her hands just as she’s heaving it toward the conflagration. She laughed and said she could probably be persuaded to let it go. Why not? 

“I’ve been thinking about how if some are partially burned they might be fun to play with…” she mused.

Kitty’s not going to stop painting; indeed, she is as prolific as ever. (“Calling it ‘The End of Art’ was me being dramatic," she said.) The walls of the Magic Bean are adorned with her newer works, including a series of famous artists drinking coffee that are a lot of fun for her. “Each one is an art history lesson,” she said. “Because I’m painting in the style of the artist.” These clever works (Toulouse-Lautrec is my favorite) are available as prints and notecards. 

More of Kitty’s new work will be on display Down Creek Gallery, where she’s having an art opening on August 29th.

Kitty's husband, Gary Mitchell, made this video of the Burning Woman event on Tuesday, August 9th, when Kitty burned the seven paintings that hadn't sold at the silent auction. The Burning Woman: The End of Art show raised over $1200 for wildlife rehabilitation on the island.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpN-DFg9BTA&feature=share

Frida, Sal, Georgia, and Pablo enjoy a cup o' joe.
Frida, Sal, Georgia, and Pablo enjoy a cup o' joe.
Notecards for sale at the Magic Bean
Notecards for sale at the Magic Bean

 

 

Comments powered by Disqus