Oklahoma City gallery hosts two edgy artists 

The two Oklahoma-based artists currently exhibiting their work at Istvan Gallery in Oklahoma City choose an urban aesthetic over rural imagery. Both Romy Owens and Michael Joy Wilson incorporate telephone wires, bricks and streetscape details into their art.

"We both have a very distinctly urban aspect to our work," Owens said. "We're not trying to make pastoral landscapes; we're trying to be a little bit more on the edge."

Owens began using elements of urban life after noticing that even in her travel photographs, she would focus on the details instead of the landmarks. Eventually, she adapted her photographs into deconstructed images, which utilize linear lines and texture in an abstract expressionist style. She cuts apart digitally manipulated images into segments before collaging them back together with meticulous hand stitching, adding a unique level of interest to her work. 

'AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL'
Michael Joy Wilson has been creating prints since 1988 and attends graduate school at the University of Oklahoma for printmaking. Like Owens, she frequently uses urban images as themes in her prints, often inspired by when she lived in Boston and New York.

"It's all autobiographical," Wilson said. "I think that's the same for many people's art. You are the one collecting the material for it and you can't be that removed from what you're doing. I take stories that have happened to me and impressions I've gotten of something, and create an emotional response to that."

Wilson's prints in Istvan Gallery involve overlapping images created from monotypes, which are more like painting than other forms of printmaking, in that the image is drawn or painted on the plate, but is not part of the plate. Since most of the ink or paint is removed on the first printing, the image cannot be reproduced exactly the same way multiple times.

"?Allison Meier

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