The exhibition will feature a diverse blend of the work of five artists who convey a distinct voice in his or her respective mediums.
At the threshold where form and abstraction meet, Canadian artist Brian Donnelly carves his stunning niche. Obscuring his subject matter beyond tangible recognition, the artist creates not a portrait, but the ghost of a portrait, an amorphous reference point to something that was once perceived as beautiful and whole. Entailed in his process is an intuitive understanding that beneath even the most uniform exterior is a fleeting and ultimately destructive reality. Each piece sees Donnelly painting figures with exquisite technique before taking a figurative hammer, blowtorch, rope or rake to the canvas. As the visual information deteriorates, identities turn into indefinite abstractions. Paradoxes present themselves as being contingent upon one another in order to exist at all. Meanwhile, a brilliant and unmistakable aesthetic persists.
Dan Lam straddles the line between numerous dichotomies, since that's where she most often uncovers new modes of expression. Indeed, by navigating the realm between attraction and repulsion, organic and inanimate, seriousness and playfulness, soft and hard, Lam conjures up her idiosyncratic vision, one exotic sculpture at a time. As a result, the work strikes a deft balance between seemingly disparate concepts, subsequently inspiring a range of emotions and ideas from the viewer. And while a sense of experimentation is palpable, the work isn't so abstract as to disengage. If anything, it does the opposite, inspiring and endless sense of participation and imagination, aiming straight for the limbic system and hitting its target with a bullseye.
Erik Mark Sandberg explores themes of rest, solitude, youth culture, and the inherited space of the automotive interior. Automotive interiors hold particular importance to the artist, in that he sees each one as a "sanctuary for private discourse" as well as an "extension of identity". Consequently, each automotive interior functions as both a "physical and psychological prosthetic throughout the paintings". Bringing the theme even further to life are Sandberg's canvases, two of which physically resemble a windshield.
On the importance of the hirsute figures, Sandberg says the following, "The hirsute figures are a melding of proposed evolutionary experiments. The hair becomes a metaphor for the effects of popular culture, and the bear for one’s persona in the age of connection. The visual metaphors at play are for the veil of civility that is becoming increasingly more transparent with living in the city. The backgrounds of the paintings consist of nature, not of this world, but a cosmic form which represents the psychological terrain."
Meegan Barnes is an artist and sculptor with a unique and empowering approach to sculpting the female form. Her work straddles the line between art and craft by re-imagining iconic ancient artifacts through a lens heavily influenced by modern day pop culture and couture. The politics of the derriere has become a 21st century phenomenon. Butts have become the focal point in contemporary female sexuality and have permeated the pop culture by way of celebrities, music lyrics and videos, social media, fashion, gym culture and surgical augmentation. Barnes taps into the present day butt obsession and muses on whether self-enhancement and exhibitionism are forms of feminine liberation.
Yellena James is well known for her colorful and instantly recognizable organic landscapes - an abstracted semblance of coral reefs, tangled seaweed and anemones. Through a combination of pen, acrylic, gouache, and ink, James playfully dances with various textures and forges a style completely her own. Each panel explodes with kaleidoscopic flora and offers an expansive glimpse into the subaqueous ecosystem. Delicate patterns are carefully added alongside other equally intricate layers, thereby retaining the imperative balance. By reimagining the at once random and mathematically agreeable harmony that actually exists in nature, James brings a completely fantastical world to life.