For the last 13 years, Shane Townley has worked internationally as an artist, galleries, nonprofit professional, independent Curator collaborating with emerging & established contemporary artists. With clients consisting of art institutions, corporations, galleries and individuals, both domestically and internationally. His uniquely diverse background in the arts, nonprofit development, and arts management has positioned him to skillfully aid creative professionals, art patrons, and institutions in sustainable social and economic growth in art collections. Currently, Townley's studio and office, the Townley Arts foundation Inc. is based in Mana Contemporary living Museum, he is also the editor and writer for NewYorkART.com (New York art fairs, reviews, galleries, artists, receptions), this is a global arts & cultural firm based in the largest city in the world for the arts.
“A New Surrealism” Art review by writer Clayton Daniels
The work of Shane Townley is not what it seems. Or, it is exactly what it seems. Sly, these paintings are a mix of riddles and unanswered questions. Is it a simple landscape? Or, is it a careful prompt to larger questions and understandings? I don’t know. I don’t know if Shane knows.
A simple glance is all it takes to count the elements that comprise much of Townley’s work: a calm sky, a peaceful expanse, a line of trees not too far in the distance. Sometimes he shows us a road or path, some times not. The colors are soothing. The composition is familiar, peaceful in its predictability. But there is more here, much more and like the “kitchen” poems of the late Jane Kenyon and Updike’s urban wastelands, Townley’s peaceful mindscapes are anything but peaceful.
The opening sequence of David Lynch’s, “Blue Velvet,” features a long slow zoom into a classic American exterior. Crisp, clean, comfortable it embodies a storybook that is as much of a part of American mythology as is the dream that all men are created equal. Lynch, like Townley, toys with us. Because as we get closer the camera takes us from benign detachment into the top few layers of soil beneath the perfectly manicured lawn and it is here that we see a teeming hoard of writhing violent murderous insect life. In Lynch’s and Townley’s shared vision, the peaceful is not the truth. The peaceful is the myth, the mask that disguises the truth. A difficult disturbing truth we all share.
In Townley’s exquisite work we know there is chaos beneath surface. The expanse of land that takes us to the trees is false hope, unrealistic expectations that distract us from the pain and difficulty of the lives that are symbolized in that long slow walk. But it is the trees that are most telling: arranged in a synchrony of balanced meditation, they are a mirage. An idealized endpoint to life’s challenging frontier. Is there an other side? Is it as simple as stepping comfortably through the gaps between the verdant actors? No, endings are painful, ruinous. And the journey to the other side is never what we expect or dream or hope it to be.
It is this inherent deception that pushes Townley into surrealism. He presents the fantastic clothed in the realistic. Unlike Dali, a favorite of Shane’s, this surrealism is subtle and idyllic. Perhaps, an even more devastating commentary than melting clocks and faces.
Shane Townley is an artist that asks us to think about what we don’t see. It is here that he excels. Because by giving us what we think we want, he forces us to see what is really there.
1972 - Born, Ithaca, NY 1994 – Platt School of Art & Design 1998 – Newspaper in Upstate New York 1999 – Commercial Graphic Designer for CNY Designs, New York 2004 – 2007, Gallery 104, San Clemente, CA (Solo Exhibitions) 2004 – San Clemente Arts 2005 – San Diego Art Walk 2006 – Beverly Hills Arts Juried Exhibition 2007 – Gallery 104 (Solo Exhibition) 2007 – Lu Martin Galleries – Laguna Beach, Ca 2007 – Gallery La La – Laguna Beach, Ca 2007 – Dana Point Arts Juried Show 2008 – Solo Exhibition – Townley Fine Art – Laguna Beach, Ca 2008 – Coast Gallery – San Juan Capistrano, Ca 2008 – Cove Gallery – Laguna Beach, Ca 2008 – Lu Martin Galleries – Laguna Beach, Ca 2008 – Sawdust Arts – Laguna Beach, Ca 2009 – Solo Exhibition – Townley Fine Art - Laguna Beach, Ca 2009 – Beverly Hills Arts Juried Exhibition 2009 – San Diego Art Walk 2009 – Solo Exhibition – Townley gallery – Laguna Beach, Ca 2009 – Sawdust Arts – Laguna Beach, Ca 2009 – Laguna Beach Art Association Main Beach 2010 – Sawdust Arts – Laguna Beach, Ca 2010 – Solo Exhibition – Townley gallery – Laguna Beach, Ca 2010 – Beverly Hills Arts Juried Exhibition 2010 – Palm Springs Arts Juried Exhibition 2010 – Scottsdale Arizona Arts Juried Exhibition 2010 – Gallery Surface Solo Exhibition, Laguna Beach, Ca 2011 – Calabasas Arts Juried Exhibition 2011 – Sawdust Arts Laguna Beach, Ca 2011 – Townley Gallery Solo Exhibition Laguna Beach, Ca 2011 – San Diego Art Walk 2011 – Malibu Arts Juried Exhibition 2011 – Palm Desert Arts Juried Exhibition 2012 – Calabasas Arts Juried Exhibition 2012 – Townley gallery Solo Exhibition 2012 – Beverly Hills Arts Juried Exhibition 2012 – San Diego Art Walk 2012 – Solo Exhibition LGOCA – Laguna gallery of Contemporary Art – Laguna Beach, Ca 2013 – Beverly Hills Arts Juried Exhibition 2013 – Townley gallery Solo Exhibition – Laguna Beach, Ca 2013 – LGOCA – Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art – Laguna Beach, Ca 2013 – Calabasas Arts Juried Exhibition 2014 – DeBilzan Gallery – Laguna Beach, Ca (Solo Exhibition) 2014 – Group Show Townley Gallery – Laguna Beach, Ca 2014 – Monterey Arts Juried Exhibition 2014 – Beverly Hills Arts Juried Exhibition 2014 – San Diego Art Walk (April) 2015 – Townley gallery Group Show, Laguna Beach, Ca 2015 – Java Projects, Brooklyn, NYC (3 months) 2015 - Pleiades Gallery, Chelsea, NYC 2015 - Townley Gallery International, Laguna Beach, CA 2015 - Mana Contemporary Museum, Jersey City, NJ 2015 - Art Basel, Miami, FL 2016 – San Diego Art Walk 2016 - Mana Contemporary Museum, Jersey City, NJ 2016 - Pleiades Gallery, Chelsea, NY (Group Show March) 2016 - Townley Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA (Solo Exhibition April) 2016 - Townley Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA (Group Show Exhibition August) 2016 - Georges Berges Gallery, SoHo, New York (September) 2016 - Art at the Arboretum Benefit, Wayne New Jersey (9/24-25) 2016 - Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ (with Andy Warhol Sept. 25th) 2017 - Casa Romantica, San Clemente, CA (Solo Exhibition)