Being raised in the deep south along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Geoff Mitchell was steeped in the long history of the region’s tradition of telling stories … from local legends to tall tales of ghosts or even just hearing his grandmother in the back room adding her own colorful accounts over the phone on a hot summer day. Telling stories is a way of life in the south. And that’s what Mitchell loves most about making art; it’s his way of telling stories.
Within a range of media including painting, miniature room storytelling, music, short film, and art-book collaborations, Mitchell’s work consistently embodies a curious feeling of nostalgia. There is a desire to pull the past forward into the now and even propel it out into the future. Never in a sense of resisting change, but rather to remind us of where we have been, so we may have a better look at where we might go.
Some of his pieces offer complete narrative tales unfolding, yet more often Mitchell presents us with a suggestion of events and leaves space for interpretations of the story. As Los Angeles art critic Peter Frank has written, “Mitchell’s heraldic compositions gain their strength and tension not from the drama inherent in their elements, but from the new drama that emerges from their juxtaposition”.
Geoff’s most notable solo exhibitions include Chaos at the Confessional at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, Biloxi (2012), Sunspots at Sakuragi Fine Arts in Tokyo, Japan (2014), Water Appears and Disappears at Florida Mining Gallery, Jacksonville (2014), The California Fairytale at Kelsey Michaels Fine Art, Laguna Beach (2017) and Magic Lanterns • Ghost Stories and Fairytales at The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center, Ocean Springs (2017).