Thursday, June 2, 2016 6-8pm
Drive-By Projects, 81 Spring Street, Watertown, MA
Thursdays 12-4pm and by appointment.
Printmaking has a vast and storied history in the realm of all manner of religion. Printed depictions of devils and demons appeared as cautionary reminders concomitant with the invention of paper in China a millennium ago. From memento mori and vanitas images during the German Renaissance, warnings of witchcraft in 18th century New England straight through to early-mid twentieth century images of the uncanny. The likenesses of gods and saints belong to this same history: long before widespread literacy, printed saints and biblical scenes served as inexpensive means of protection in the form of icons and visual accounts of religious passages.
Prints: sacred, profane takes a contemporary approach to these subjects and updates them to both modern life and timeless, universal fears where the lines between good and evil, life and death, inner torments or fetishes and their visual manifestations are presented as tabulae rasa onto which the viewer projects their own interpretation.
Frank Curcio's anachronistic woodcuts Lanesville Cemetery depict the inevitability of death as at once peaceful and beautiful. Despite the soothing grays and quiet, calming setting, no one can escape the way of all flesh.
Stella Ebner's screenprints from her series Car Lot on Hwy. 101 take what is perhaps the most profane manifestation of Christianity within the U.S. - that of the megachurch - and impart a dignity to these sham houses of worship through dramatic color and meticulous craftsmanship.
Katie Gilmartin's series of Beautiful Asses use a subject forever caught between the extremes of beauty and (what some see as) vulgarity. Her affection for her subject matter places them squarely with the former while the singular, fetishistic focus may swing them delightfully toward latter camp.
Nicole Maloof's depictions of slaughter and mayhem, replete with arcane, personal symbolism, put a feminist spin on their fifteenth century German predecessors. Quasi-Biblical narratives of pillage unfold on a sexually-level playing field; though, as one title implies, no winners will emerge from violence in any form.
The humor in Sage Perrott's Fantastical Creatures may mask underlying menace. Do these beasties come to us as devils in disguise, as gentle reminders of the troubles that beset us in our day-to-day lives or, worse yet, the petty demons we carry within ourselves?
No clear-cut position is evident within these works, leaving viewers to work out for themselves the artists' intent as well as their own attitudes toward these wolves in sheep's clothing. Or is it the other way around?
Uncannyland, features work by Jerry Mischak, Kathleen O’Hara, and Ben Sloat and be held at One Mile Gallery in Kingston, NY from June 4 - June 25, 2016. Hope to see you there!
A new project, Themes of Garden, Landscape, Experience and Memory, opens at Russell Janis on July 14th, and features work by Peter Bregoli & Wendy Edwards.
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