Children’s fantasies in paintings by Kayla Mahaffey

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Chicago-based artist Kayla Mahaffey captures the vivid reveries occupying young minds. She juxtaposes realistically rendered figures with chaotic scenes of two-dimensional cartoon characters as they emerge from amorphous clouds and pastel commotions. Each central figure wears a distinct expression that’s reflected through the fictional world.

Many of Mahaffey’s pieces portraying children’s imaginations shown here are part of the series Off to the Races, which serves as a hopeful narration of change, she said in a statement.

As we travel through life we experience the daily trials and tribulations that help shape us into the people we are today. During this journey, we may end up hitting some bumps or may experience some rough terrain, but it’s how we deal with those situations that make the difference. We are all on the journey to greatness, each individual racing to the finish line in hope of reaching goals and prosperity. With the race may come with it mistakes and regret, but not taking part in the race leads you nowhere.

The artist shares many of her playful works, in addition to a virtual tour of her recent solo show titled Deconstructed at Thinkspace in Culver City, on Instagram.

 

Children's fantasies in paintings by Kayla Mahaffey

“Safety First” (2019), acrylic on board panel, 36 x 46

Children's fantasies in paintings by Kayla Mahaffey

“Stranded” (2019), acrylic on wood panel

Children's fantasies in paintings by Kayla Mahaffey

“Race to the Finish Line” (2019), acrylic on wood panel, 16 x 20

Children's fantasies in paintings by Kayla Mahaffey

“Short Fuse” (2018), acrylic on wood panel, 12 x 12

Children's fantasies in paintings by Kayla Mahaffey

“Enjoy the Ride” (2019), acrylic on aluminum panel, 36 x 36

Children's fantasies in paintings by Kayla Mahaffey

“Take Action” (2019), acrylic on aluminum panel, 36×36

Children's fantasies in paintings by Kayla Mahaffey

“Daily Distractions” (2018), watercolor and acrylic on Arches watercolor paper, 18 x 24

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