Mab Graves

Mab Graves /   Mab Graves

United States

Illustration, Painting

Mab Graves
Mab Graves
United States
April 23, 2016
Behind the pseudonym of Lor Dethal lies Nemanja Torlak, a writer for Widewalls intrigued and moved by diversity in art and in the lives of those who create it. It is often the unexpected that come forth and surprise us, and art is a world that allows it and makes it possible. David beats the Goliath daily, and writing about it is a pleasure.

Storytelling can truly be a powerful instrument in drastically affecting one’s emotions, whether for better or for worse. It has been used to inspire and to scare alike, but there’s always a glimpse of hope and a certain nuance of innocent expectation no matter how dark the narrative may be. It has influenced and led minds throughout history and it does so for the American artist Mab Graves as well. Having been surrounded by various fantastical tales as a child, Graves’ endless imagination and inspiration manifested itself in the form of painting and illustration. With a rich narrative reoccurring in each of her works, her beautiful pieces remind us of the innocence we all once nurtured and many of us lost along the path of life.

Mab Graves work shop etsy little just pop love things
Left: Mab Graves – The Entomologists Daughter, 2014 / Right: Mab Graves – The Tweedles, 2014

Wolf’s Den

Based in Indianapolis, Mab Graves puts a lot of effort, time, and self into each of her mostly small scale paintings and illustrations. Being a completely self-taught artist, Graves’ artwork is free of possible restrictions or suggestions of form and structure, and she creates completely based on her instinct. Her studio, in a way, matches this freedom – where some would prefer a distraction-free environment to create it, Graves’ idea of a perfect creative surrounding is a wolf’s den of a sort, untamed and wild. With several projects being worked on at the same time, she invests days, even weeks into each one, carefully creating and binding with every character she portrays. Doing more than simply coloring the canvas, her rich narratives and beautiful figures drawing out of a lush imagination and fantasy tales are always personal, describing innocence and its loss through her likable characters.

Graves’ rich narratives and beautiful figures are always personal

Mab Graves work shop etsy little just pop love things
Left: Mab Graves – The Three Graces, 2015 / Right: Mab Graves – A Boy that is a Girl, 2015

Wonder of the World

Within the mysterious and wonderful lands she depicts, Mab Graves places distinct characters – girls of disproportional dimensions with a gloomy look on their faces. When asked why the girls aren’t smiling instead, Graves reaches to the core of her practice for an answer, explaining that they represent the innocence that each of us had had when they were younger, yet lost as the year passed; some may have given it away willingly and some might have given it up reluctantly, but we all remember the wonder of the world seen through such eyes, and the artist is making a connection to those feelings. Whether you choose to see them for their child-like purity or as a reminder of its inevitable loss, the girls depicted are undeniably beautiful in their own realization of its imminent absence.

The girls Graves depicts are undeniably beautiful in their own realization of the loss of innocence

Mab Graves work shop etsy little just pop love things new facebook blog girl instagram 2016
Left: Mab Graves – A Stormcloud of Jellyfish, 2013 / Right: Mab Graves – The Dream, 2015

Sheer Beauty

Inspired by a childhood filled with tales of all sorts, Mab Graves places her characters within narratives alluring to both the eye and the mind, encompassing a universal, powerful moment that any viewer can relate to. Immersed into this shared vortex, Graves creates artwork both for the viewers and herself, offering people the chance to connect through the mutual feelings visually presented. With a story to be told in each of her paintings, it becomes easy to be reminiscent of the one’s inner child, admiring the sheer beauty of the painted canvas.

The artist is represented by Corey Helford Gallery.

Mab Graves lives and works in Indianapolis, IN.

Featured image: Mab Graves – The Wanderlings (detail), 2013. All photos credit the artist.
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TItleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016 Atomic Candy Cosmonauts Arch Enemy Arts – Philadelphia, PASolo
2016 2nd Annual DTA Dunny Show Clutter Gallery – Beacon, NYGroup
2016 Graphite Show Plastic Murs – Valencia, SpainGroup
2016 Hello Kitty & 99 Friends PIQ Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2015 Spectrum Auguste Clown Gallery – Victoria, AustraliaSolo
2015 The Children of the Nephilim: Genesis Monster Gallery – Indianapolis, INSolo
2015 Paper Doll Show Rivet Gallery, Group
2015 A Date With Blythe Tiny Ninja Gallery, Seattle WAGroup
2015 Snake Oil and False Prophets Modern Eden Gallery, Group
2015 Myth, Magic and Lore Bash Contemporary, San Francisco, CAGroup
2015 Intimacy Swoon Gallery, LA, CAGroup
2015 Dreamlands Corey Helford Gallery Circa, Culver City, CAGroup
2015 Cinder, Glass and Thorns III Inner State Gallery and 1xRUN, Detroit, MIGroup
2015 Independent Bookstore Day Kids Ink, Indianapolis, INGroup
2015 The Time In Between Bear and Bird Gallery, Lauderhill, FLGroup
2015 Tiny Trifecta Cotton Candy Machine – Brooklyn, NYGroup
2015 Brodarrfest U.S. FOE Gallery – Northhampton, MAGroup
2015 Muses Swoon Gallery, LA, CAGroup
2015 More Than A Cone More Than A Cone, LA, CAGroup
2015 Into the Woods Haven Gallery, Long Island, NYGroup
2015 New York Comic Con Martian Toys Booth #203, New York NYGroup
2015 11th Anniversary Show Gallery Nucleus, Alhambra CAGroup
2015 Blythecon Chicago Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, ILGroup
2015 Get the Lead Out Swoon Gallery – San Clemente, CAGroup
2015 Beauties of the Night Alexi Era Gallery – Mascoutah, ILGroup
2015 Ornament Show Alexi Era Gallery – Mascoutah, ILGroup
2015 DesignerCon Prints On Wood Booth – Pasadena, CAGroup
2015 Wanderlust Modern Eden Gallery – San Francisco, CAGroup
2015 Flower Pepper 4 Year Anniversary Flower Pepper Gallery, Pasadena, CAGroup
2014 Alice in Wonderland Monster Gallery – Indianapolis, INSolo
2014 Of Paper , Rust and Stardust IndyReads, Indianapolis, INSolo
2014 This is Not a Love Song Dax Gallery, Costa Mesa, CAGroup
2014 Beta Cell Bash New Day Gallery, Indianapolis, INGroup
2014 Celebration of Nature Gallery Nucleus, Alhambra, CAGroup
2014 Indelible Alexi Era Gallery, Saint Louis, MOGroup
2014 Universe: The Art of Existence Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2014 Romantic Heroines Junie Moon – Tokyo JapanGroup
2014 Yours Truly: 100 Postcards for Human Rights Alexi Era Gallery, Saint Louis, MOGroup
2014 Artists on Board Art Deck Co, Portland, ORGroup
2014 Wilderness Auguste Clown Gallery – Victoria, AustraliaGroup
2014 Temple of the Soul Alexi Era Gallery, Saint Louis, MOGroup
2014 The Brave Ones Flower Pepper Gallery, Pasadena, CAGroup
2014 Day de los Muertos Eiteljorg Museum – Indianapolis, INGroup
2014 Fonzo Custom Show Curator’s Voice, Miami, FLGroup
2014 The Krampus Show Curly Tale Fine Art, Chicago, ILGroup
2014 Flower Pepper 3 Year Anniversary Flower Pepper Gallery, Pasadena, CAGroup
2014 Wanderlust II Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco CAGroup
2014 Gift Wrapped 2014 Clutter Gallery, Beacon NYGroup
2013 Pretending to be Human Monster Gallery, Indianapolis, INSolo
2013 The Runaways Gallery Nucleus, Alhambra CASolo
2013 Wanderlust Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco CAGroup
2013 Grey Gardens Harrison Gallery, Indianapolis, INGroup
2013 Fonzo Show Dragatomi, Sacramento CAGroup
2013 Banned Books Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Indianapolis, INGroup
2013 Gallery B Gallery B, Barcelona, SpainGroup
2013 Chronicle: Tales of the Sea Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco CAGroup
2013 Curiosities Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco CAGroup
2013 Tarot: Art of Fortune Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco CAGroup
2013 Boys vs. Girls Bear and Bird Gallery, Lauderhill, FLGroup
2013 Not in Kansas Anymore Gallery Nucleus, Alhambra, CAGroup
2013 Punked Circle City Aerodromes, Indianapolis, INGroup
2012 Candyland Monster Gallery, Indianapolis, INSolo
2012 Curiosities Gallery Nucleus, Alhambra, CAGroup
2012 Primary Colors: 10 Years Primary Gallery, Indianapolis, INGroup
2012 Peter Pan and Wndy Susanita’s Little Gallery, Madrid, SpainGroup
2012 Starter Art Bear and Bird Gallery, Lauderhill, FLGroup
2011 The Fish Show Indy Indie Artist Colony, Indianapolis, INGroup
2011 Art of Youth MCCOY, Indianapolis, INGroup
2011 Bodies of Waters Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis, INGroup
2011 One Piece Show Dean Johnson Gallery, Indianapolis, INGroup
2011 Stoked:3 Art Omi, Ghent, NYGroup
2011 Sugarplums Harrison Gallery, Indianapolis, INGroup
2011 Circle of Champions Primary Gallery, Indianapolis, INGroup
2011 Social Faceworking Schenectady, NYGroup
2011 NYC Fountain Art Fair New York, NYGroup
2010 Girl Wonders Harrison Gallery, Indianapolis, INSolo
2010 The Adventures of Harlow Harrison Gallery, Indianapolis, INSolo
2010 Art of Youth (MCCOY) Indianapolis, INGroup
2010 Tonic Ball Indianapolis, INGroup
2010 Too Marvelous for Words Albany Center Gallery, NYGroup
2010 Dia de Los Muertos -Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, INGroup
2010 All Business The Marketplace Galley, Albany, NYGroup
2010 Buckaroo Bash Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, INGroup
2010 Critical Exchange Indianapolis, INGroup
2010 Replanting the Garden Big Car Gallery, Indianapolis, INGroup
2009 Toys Art Box Gallery, Indianapolis, INGroup
2009 Be Indypendent Indianapolis Artsgarden, Indianapolis, INGroup
2009 Black, White and Read All Over Harrison Gallery, Indianapolis, INGroup
2009 Tonic Ball Indianapolis, INGroup
2009 Booth Launch Harrison Center Galley, Indianapolis, INGroup
2009 Buckaroo Bash Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, INGroup
2009 Self Portrait Show INVOKE Gallery, Indianapolis, INGroup
2009 Art vs. Art Indianapolis, INGroup