Allan Bealy is an experienced artist. He graduated from The School of Art and Design in Montreal and has for many years worked as a graphic designer and art director in advertising agencies in New York. He has a trained eye and perfectly operates with color and composition. His collages from recent years, after retiring, are the result of his previous experiences. They distinguish themselves with refined color palette and freedom of composition. Bealy has developed his own, recognizable style and there is something ‘American’ about it. He is visibly inspired by Rauschenberg, shows nostalgia for the aesthetics of 50s and 60s, as if he wanted to say that all the best things have already passed. He likes to use vintage materials, he cuts models from old adverts and magazines. Charming ladies and handsome gentlemen pasted into his collages wink at us. And the lack of commercial -advertising aspect make Bealy’s collages brim with freedom. They are born out of pure want for creating art.
Bealy pays a lot of attention to technique, preparing materials is a vital process to him. He carefully prepares the base. He creates collages layer by layer, first putting together the backgrounds, most often in light colors, made out of noble, original or tinted papers. The papers pasted in thin layers one after another look like yellowed leaves, they create painting-like structures. Only then, the artist adds other elements to these meticulously prepared bases. The final outcome is always incredibly fresh. A well-done project should look like it was put together by chance, without effort and the elements it consists of should seem like they have fallen from the sky and found their perfect spot on paper themselves. Bealy’s pieces are just like that – spontaneous and fresh. They are marked with nobility of hand made craftsmanship. Traces of scissors, smell of paper and glue and small imperfections adds to their charm.
Bealy creates series, he also like to work on a number of collages at the same time. He tries to keep as many projects as possible active. This can cover canvas paintings, issuing postcards, mail-art or cooperation with artists from all over the world. Mail art and working with other collage artists are an important aspect of his artistic path.
The artist seems to be fulfilled artistically. He combines collage with life philosophy. As he says:
“Everything is collage! We experience the world in fragments and shards that form a fluid whole. Everything is in flux and creating collage is just a part of that process”.
Allan Bealy had his solo exhibitions in Canada, Sweden, USA and was presented at numerous group exhibitions, including three International Collage Art exhibitions at Retroavangarda Gallery in Warsaw.
text by Anna Kłos
photo Tomasz Kłos
translation by Karolina Kłos