Love Letter to Pace Taylor

A bright and colorful pastel and graphite drawing with one, neon pink person reclining horizontally next to a pale pink person with short green hair
Pace Taylor, Place, becoming Feeling. Feeling, becoming Place, 2020

Of all the effects of social distancing, the one I’m struggling with the most is the psychological exposure. Emotions feel particularly raw, and I find myself missing both solitude and community. Portland-based artist Pace Taylor captures these conflicting desires in expansive fields of soft pastel and leaden graphite details. In The mirror world seems a dangerous place (2020)—which I first encountered via Taylor’s Instagram takeover in Third Room’s online artist series “Inside”—a figure holds a hand to their face in a gesture of exhaustion, frustration, confusion, or sadness. Graphite adds details and contrast with astonishing specificity, despite loose, expressionist marks. Two thin, teal circles float in front of the face, forming a Venn diagram with no specified sets. Or, the things being compared are contrasting mental states within the subject. Further emphasizing a sense of conflict, Taylor’s color pallet is both electric and flat. In Place, becoming Feeling. Feeling, becoming Place (2020), a fuchsia reclining figure vibrates with chromatic intensity as another figure sits by their side. This act of untroubled intimacy feels like an impossibility these days, but Taylor offers a visual vocabulary for dreaming of better times.