Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Vision Quest"

I am delighted to announce that one of my 2007 paintings, "a cruel and beautiful faraway place," is included in "Vision Quest,' a group show curated by the celebrated artist/art blogger/musician Pam Grossman. The exhibition will be on view at Observatory, in Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY.

The opening is this coming Saturday, January 16th, from 7-10pm. The reception will surely be a lovely way to start your Saturday evening, but if you can't make it, I hope that you'll have an opportunity to visit the show while it's on view (through February 21st). Full exhibition details and the press release follow.


"VISION QUEST – A Group Show of Neo-Shamanic Art"

543 Union Street (at Nevins)
Brooklyn, NY 11215

On View: January 17th– February 21st, 2010
Opening: Saturday, January 16th, 2010, 7-10pm

Gallery Hours: Thursdays & Fridays 3-6pm; Saturdays & Sundays 12-6pm

OBSERVATORY and Phantasmaphile's Pam Grossman are proud to kick off 2010 with VISION QUEST, a group show of neo-shamanic art, on view from January 16th through February 21st.

A healer, a medicine (wo)man, a guide: the shaman is a figure who interfaces with nature magic and the invisible world at large, for the betterment of the tribe. Fluent in the language of symbols, and a perennial student of plant wisdom, the shaman is also a translator – bringing back messages from a place veiled thick with leaves, bones, smoke, ghosts.

This journey to the other side – to the innerside – is not just a flowery promenade of song and trance; of friendly animal spirits and ancestral reunions. For while this land is rife with vibrant, variegated beauty, it can also be a danger zone. Images of decapitation and dismemberment abound - though ultimately act as portents for personal transformation and rebirth. This shadowy terrain is trod only by those brave enough to encounter whatever may be found along the way, as each sojourn is mysterious, thoroughly unpredictable, and entirely individual. However, the results of the trip often prove invaluable, as the traveler returns armed with knowledge that will in turn illuminate and repair the community, and fortify his or her own soul.

While the role of the shaman has traditionally been fulfilled by experienced elders in indigenous groups spanning culture and time, VISION QUEST posits that our artists fit the bill as well. Today, with more of us living in an urban jungle rather than a real one, it has become all the more important to figure out ways to internalize the lessons of nature: its growth, its brilliant bloom, its death. And in an age of digitization and distraction, of wire vines and humming screens, it’s no wonder we long for deeper, more sensory experiences of self - with all of its darkness and divinity.

As such, each piece in VISION QUEST explores the archetype of the shamanic voyage, using the tools of paint, pencil, or paper in lieu of fire, flower, feather. Taken together this work represents a full spectrum of what it means to go underground and out of body; to go there and come back again, perhaps just a little bit wiser or, at the very least, more wide awake.

Jesse Bransford
William Crump
Scott Gursky
Juliet Jacobsen
Ashley Lande
Adela Leibowitz
Jason Leinwand
Christopher Mir
Joe Newton
Herbert Pfostl
Christopher Reiger
Christine Shields
Erika Somogyi
Jessie Rose Vala

Image credit: Jason Leinwand "Accepting Fear Rather Than Trying to Understand It"

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