Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Guess What! I'm About to Have My Second Solo Exhibition! And, Everyone is Invited!

All copyrights are reserved to the artist (c) 2014.

This summer I'm having two solo exhibitions.  Not one, two!  I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have an opportunity to show my work publicly.  Artists always work with an audience in mind (forget about any platitudes to the contrary).  I wouldn't go so far as to say that an artist needs an audience to validate their work, but the purpose of art is to make a visual statement with an eye toward having a cultural impact.  After all, the creative process doesn't happen in a vacuum, every artist is influenced by their cultural, political and social environment and so it is only right that they would want to leave their mark on it, in turn.

My first show opens later this month (May 27).  It is titled "Wildlife" and it is comprised of paintings from an ongoing series featuring crustaceans, occasionally with a bird or spider and with an eclectic mix of everyday objects.  I juxtapose unrelated objects in all of my still lifes in order to create dynamic and interesting paintings.  In this show, pheasants and plastic food containers; spiders and a disembodied Buddha head; crustaceans and alarm clocks; the addition of elements that confound and confuse can make for a more multilayered work of art.  Some of the subject matter can be interpreted as symbol or metaphor, as well.  For example, the juxtaposition of arachnids or crustaceans with manmade objects could suggest the relative brevity of human existence, but the enormity of our impact on the environment.  Because crustaceans and arachnids go way back, millions of years, they are reminders of the vastness of geologic time:  Crabs go back to the Jurassic period, 200-145 million years ago; lobsters and spiders the Cretaceous period, some 145 million years ago.  In contrast we humans are but a blip on the geological time scale!  And the overturned pitchers and empty or near empty plastic containers could be metaphors for the arbitrary and negative effect much of human activity has had.
All copyrights are reserved to the artist (c) 2014.

My artwork, by and large, reflects a Realist aesthetic; there is a recurring Magical Realist strain that runs through it, though.  And, this exhibition is representative of that aspect of my oeuvre.  Ordinary and everyday items are the subject matter of all of my paintings, regardless of whether they fall under the rubric of Realism or Magic Realism; however, the latter have a fantastical aspect, which is purely situational (contextual).  For example, a bird confronting a crab or crustaceans competing with spiders are not the stuff of ordinary life!  Although there is nothing fantastical about a bird, crab or spider per se.

Magic Realism is a literary and artistic genre in which realistic subject matter or narrative is portrayed in a naturalistic way in combination with fantastical elements in order to explore the dichotomy between the rational and irrational aspects of life as it is experienced by the individual.  (Regardless of one’s best efforts to order and control circumstances, life is always subject to chance, to the accidental!)  This may sound an awful lot like surrealism, but the emphasis is on material objects instead of subconscious or dream images that defy the laws of physics.

My second solo show this summer will take place in August.  I will post the details as soon as I settle on a title for the show and ascertain the exact starting date, as well.  Although, I can report now that it will feature florals in a primarily realist mode with flourishes of the fantastical.  And both of my upcoming shows will be at Berlitz Language Center/Rockefeller Center, 40 West 51st Street, Sidewalk Level (NYC):  Site of my first and only previous solo show.  I think it is an ideal venue for a relative neophyte to exhibiting solo, such as myself; and a great opportunity to get hands on experience putting together a show in a setting where the stakes aren't as high as they would be in an actual gallery.  Also, I know that at least some people there will be giving my art more than a cursory once-over----I've been told that classes at Berlitz view and discuss such exhibitions in order to hone language skills. 

I hope no one is hesitant to drop in on my show.  The people are friendly and the "gallery" area of Berlitz is entirely accessible to the public.  No entrance fee, nor appointment is necessary.  My first show is May 27 - June 28.  Gallery hours are 9:00am - 5:00pm Mon - Fri; 9:00am - 3:00pm Sat & Sun.
Additionally, there will be a reception June 4, 6:00pm - 7:30.