Portrait of an Artist: Pilar Mehlis

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      A collection of imaginative and fantastical oil paintings by B.C. artist Pilar Mehlis is on display at Petley Jones Gallery [1554 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver] from May 5-19. Titled Metanoia, the exhibit features her more recent work.

      The Straight reached Mehlis by phone to talk about her art.

      What are you exploring in your work?

      I think I’m just exploring my own personal truth. I don’t want to solve anything. I don’t want to project any one particular thing. It’s just basically a search for my own truth and my own self, being reflected onto the work.

      Where do the images come from?

      They’re just an accumulation of images that I see everywhere, either magazines or dreams or if I read something that I find interesting and an image will come to my mind I’ll retain that and then try to build an interesting environment for it in the painting.

      Why does the fantastical interest you?

      I wouldn’t say it’s an escape from reality. It’s just a different way of looking at things that makes life for me more interesting.

      What’s the best way for a viewer to approach your work?

      They’re a little bit nonsensical. I think just with an open mind and humour.

      Portrait of An Artist is a new feature on Straight.com that profiles local visual artists. Suggest an artist to profile in the comments section below or by sending a message via Twitter to twitter.com/thomsonstraight.