Tatiana Trouvé, Artur Lescher, and Margo Trushina "Alignments"

Alignments, the inaugural exhibition co-curated by Santiago R. Guggenheim and Claudia Paetzold featuring works by Tatiana Trouvé, Artur Lescher and Margo Trushina explores the human journey through both physical and metaphysical realms. Redefining the spatial and conceptual parameters of the art experience, the organic shapes and meandering expanses of IK LAB’s unique exhibition spaces immerse the visitor in a meditative state, serving as a gateway to discovery and connectedness.

Artur Lescher reveals an invisible spatial structure through the verticality of his suspended sculptures. In this redesigned space the visitor’s perception of matter is questioned by seemingly fluid floor based marble and basalt pieces unveiling infinity.

The relativity of perception is revealed in Margo Trushina’s works. The apparent solidity of rocks is transcended by undulating polished metal shapes projecting matter into movement, while the flickering neon dissolves the illusion of permanence of the bright white human outline. 

A 12 meter high adjacent dome built according to ancient principles of sacred geometry is reached through a passageway across a natural water flow. It houses Tatiana Trouve’s 250 Points Toward Infinity, 250 pendulums descending from the heights of the dome in diagonal lines pointing towards an intricate constellation on the ground as if directed by invisible hands. 

While dialoguing with the uneven floor and meanders of the first space the artworks operate as poetic gestures orchestrating an explorative journey, the installation in the dome becomes an invitation to meditate in the presence of a metaphoric union of heaven and earth. (Words and images via IK LAB)

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Scott Albrecht "A Forgiving Sunset"

A Forgiving Sunset exhibits Albrecht’s most recent body of work offering an evolved approach to his unique graphic languages. Largely rooted in typography, his work reconsiders the relationship of message and viewer. With each work being made up of dozens, sometimes several hundreds of individual pieces that are cut, sanded, painted and re-assembled, often at varied depths, the works shift the conversation to a more visual language of relationships starting with form and color.

The narratives of Scott’s work often pull from or reference his own experiences and distill them into a more universal interpretation to allow the viewer to relate their own experiences, and in turn showing how we are more connected by these shared events. Recalling the works in the exhibition he says: “The work for this show pulls from a range of experiences and inspirations over the last two years. A recurring point of reference in the work was the social climate and the growing gaps I was seeing among relationships — both on a cultural level as well as a personal level — and my own desire to return to something more connected. When I began this collection I developed a somewhat daily habit of listening to the poem, Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Although it was originally written in 1927, it is, among many things, a fairly timeless call for empathy, compassion and understanding, which seems just as relevant and needed today as I’m sure it did when it was written.”

Among the works this influence plays out in various ways whether it’s showing the commonalities of our shared differences (e.g. “From You” light & dark), or referencing our own personal histories that inform our paths (e.g. “A Series of Moments”) these works are a call to moving forward in today's tumultuous times. The title of the exhibition, A Forgiving Sunset, serves as a metaphor for healing and starting anew. These references of intimate moments and larger societal events are built upon a common history, and these works are the artifacts of his individual experience that he is now sharing with the public. By personally reflecting on these larger themes, and distilling them into the work, he reveals one avenue of this interconnectedness.

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Rammellzee "Racing for Thunder"

It is impossible to speak of the equation known as The RAMM:ELL:ZEE without acknowledging the cypher that he was; an arsenal of contradictions conveyed through an unremitting verbal and creative flow. At once manic genius, prolific polymath, irascible overlord, charming hustler, quantum hobbyist, and incoherent madman; at the core, Rammellzee was a supreme myth-maker, one who makes sense of the senseless.

As a young graffiti writer and MC growing up in the urban miasma that was New York City in the 1970s, Rammellzee existed from the start as an outlier. Born of mixed African-American and Italian heritage, and raised in the projects of Far Rockaway, aka Rocky Far-Away—the isolated seaside  community stationed at the southern end of the A train—he bore his singular street identity as a mantle of the alien and otherworldly.

The official mythos begins with legal decree in 1979, abandoning his given name, and adopting the militaristic equation The RAMM:ELL:ZEE as his lawful moniker. It was also this year that Rammellzee penned the first of a series of complex, discursive, visionary manifestos detailing his ever-developing cosmology of Gothic Futurism and the concept of Ikonoklast Panzerism. Rammellzee perceived language as a structurally-flawed agent of an antagonistic societal operating system. He formulated an evolution of wildstyle lettering that would liberate, weaponize, and deploy the letter like an immune system response, circulating an attack on what he called contemporary “diseased culture” and the institutions of control.

Steadfast in his mission, Rammellzee advanced his mythos of Gothic Futurism through various arenas of power. After having earned a reputation as a seminal graffiti writer and MC by the early 1980s, he caught the attention of the contemporary art world, where he quickly ascended the ranks finding further opportunity and bedrock for the development of his ideologies. Where kinetic subway cars provided the viral methodology needed to distribute his burgeoning theories, the artworld of the 1980s—influential, wealthy, and eager to harness the vitality of authentic, New York graffiti writers—proved to be the vessel best suited to propel the war machine.

Over the next decade, he would produce, with unassailable acumen, a diverse and materially-rich body of work, much of which was quickly acquired and tucked away in collections throughout Europe. As the decade came to a close, the frequency of exhibitions and museum shows thinned. Conveniently, the mythos, poised for the next phase, had already begun work on what would become his magnum opus and the final leg of his corporeal mission.

By the early 1990s, the increasing density and complexity of Rammellzee’s epistemology necessitated a materialization of ideas and proliferation of personalities, made real through elaborate epoxy-driven assemblages and costumes.  His Tribeca loft, a sprawling, uncontainable construction known as the Battlestation, became the hangar for his fleet of Letter Racers, Monster Models, and Garbage Gods, all forged from the detritus of the local consuming class. In a schizophrenic gesture, Rammellzee himself fragmented into oppositional battalions of alien bookies and demi-god gangsters, tricked out with ornate robes, masks, and weaponry exquisitely crafted and engineered from garbage. Performing as these various identities, Rammellzee presented in its most complex and fully realized form the binary battle of opposition that pervaded his mythology.

RAMMΣLLZΣΣ: Racing for Thunder presents, for the first time, a diverse selection of artworks, music, writings, rare archival documentation, and ephemera, gathered from disparate sources around the world, to outline a chronology of this remarkably complicated artist. Told by the people closest to him, the collection of oral histories, recorded on site and presented throughout the exhibition, act as a shared history, framing Rammellzee’s influence and memorializing the man who inspired, compelled, and galvanized nearly every person he encountered. While enigmatic and esoteric, Rammellzee’s work is also premonitory, warning that language has been co-opted as a tool of social and political manipulation. It is safe to say that we are far closer to the beginning, than the end of measuring the full impact left by The RAMM:ELL:ZEE.

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Wiley Wallace "Stay Connected"

Playful and ambiguous, his luminous and ostensibly radioactive worlds suggest a metaphysical interest in the possibility of alternate realities: the endlessly shapeshifting and protean nature of fantasy at the intersection of the imagined and "real." Wallace's paintings combine realistic rendering with elements of the surreal, and near-magical references that include eerily cast light sources bordering on the supernatural. Playful and macabre, his works combine intense thematic contrasts between light and dark to achieve suspense and evasion.

Children are a recurring theme in his compositions, representing a kind of primordial link to something invisible and beyond comprehension, exempt from the rationalizations of the adult. Often using his own children as models, Wallace's narratives are open-ended, filled with suggestion and partial disclosures rather than forceful assertions or posited certainties. The themes of connection and communication resonate throughout Wallace's imagery, as the works' protagonists seem ever in search of fugitive contact. The skeleton is a recurring figure throughout Wallace's imagery as well, appearing at times as a sinister harbinger of some kind and at others as Halloween costume level kitsch.

Wallace's pieces convey a kind of sci-fi nostalgia harkening back to a Spielberg-era of extraterrestrial-themed filmmaking. At times their implied innocence and naiveté give way to darker and more dystopian readings, surfacing amidst the neon-hued glow.

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Juan Travieso "Entropy"

Juan Travieso creates visually complex worlds suspended in a state of fracture. Dismantled into seismic shards, these fragments are subject to the disorienting effects of constant spatial interruption. Combining a realist painting technique with surreal juxtapositions, spatial splicing, bright palettes, and geometric abstraction, Travieso conveys the textures of a universe in breach, distorted and split by its endless potential for loss. Fascinated by the extinction of countless endangered species and the often irrevocable influence of human intervention, Travieso presents the reality of a world in transition. His compositions often look like digitized renderings, informed by the awkward, artificial simultaneity of 3-D models, and devolve in moments to pixelated digital facsimiles, reminding us of the unavoidably temporal nature of disappearance.

Travieso was born in Havana, Cuba. He credits his love of color in his work to the scarcity of resources in his home country, a stark contrast to the sheer availability of art supplies and imagery in the US. Inspired by this profusion of access to information and paint colors, the artist has taken on a series dedicated to endangered bird species, capturing them on the cusp of imminent disappearance. In the works, their facets are compartmentalized into geometric patterns and their edges striated to dissolve into quasi-architectural grids. A requiem of sorts for the irremediably compromised state of our biodiversity, Travieso's paintings capture the cataclysmic energy of its decay and the transience of this biological exhaustion and loss, proposed in stark contrast to the permanent ambitions of the digital age. This re-articulation of environmental damage through the visual and graphic language of digital culture gets at the fundamental contradiction between the organic and the artificial, the finite and the infinite; the natural world is forever at odds with the perpetuity of artificial, manmade technologies.

As an activist and environmentalist, Travieso hopes that his dynamic works will draw attention to the ecological carelessness we've abetted and the necessity of our continued vigilance in the preservation of what's left. This compassion for the vulnerable and voiceless has clear political affinities for Travieso, relating to his personal experiences growing up in Communist Cuba where persecution for perceived dissent was a constant threat and the silencing of censorship unavoidable. Perhaps in keeping with this tendency to combine oppositions like freedom and constraint, Travieso depicts the lawlessness and diversity of nature at odds with the enforced geometry of human constructs.

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René Magritte "The Fifth Season"

When René Magritte reached his 40s, something unexpected happened. The painter, who had honed an iconic Surrealist style between 1926 and 1938, suddenly started making paintings that looked almost nothing like his earlier work. First he adopted an Impressionist aesthetic, borrowing the sweet, hazy palette of Pierre-Auguste Renoir―which he described as “sunlit Surrealism.” Then his style shifted again, incorporating popular imagery, the brash colors of Fauvism and the gestural brushwork of Expressionism. And then Magritte returned to his classic style as if nothing had happened.

René Magritte: The Fifth Season looks at the art Magritte made during and after the stylistic crises of the 1940s, revealing his shifting attitudes toward painting. Subjects explored in this volume include the artist’s Renoir period; the période vache, with its Fauvist- and Expressionist-style paintings that are little known to American audiences; the “hypertrophy of objects” paintings, a series that plays with the scale of familiar objects; and the enigmatic Dominion of Lightsuite, paintings that suggest the simultaneous experience of day and night.

Featuring full-color plates of approximately 50 oil paintings, and a dozen of the artist’s gouaches, René Magritte: The Fifth Season offers a new understanding of Magritte’s special position in the history of 20th-century art.

In a career of almost half a century, Belgian Surrealist René Magritte (1898–1967) probed the distance between object, language and image. Even as he playfully explored new styles, his painting practice remained consistent in its cautionary message not to equate the observable world with reality in all its fullness.

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Celeste Byers “La Cabesa” Sculpture in Tulum Jungle

"Collaboration between Aaron Glasson and myself in the jungle of Tulum, México. Tulum was once a part of the Mayan empire but was one of the first points of contact for the Europeans who invaded and colonized Mexico. Our sculpture is based on a Mayan prophecy that says their ancestors are waiting underground for the right time when their ancient powers will return. We created one of the ancestors peeking their head up out of the ground. Vining plants will be planted around it so that eventually the head will have plants and moss growing on it. Our head was crafted by 11 talented artisans in just 4 days and you can find it at Holistika Tulum. Feel free to go hang out in it! It fits many people. Thank you Residencia Gorila, Tulum Art Club, and Luis' team of workers who kept us company in the jungle and tried to teach us some of their Mayan language". - Celeste Byers

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Amy Lincoln "Sun, Moon, Stars"

Lincoln is a committed figurative painter with a bent towards the surreal, making works that depict the world and then give way to a certain slow-burning abstraction and symbolism. At face value her oeuvre features closely observed representations of plants and other elements of the natural world:  ocean, sand, sun, moon, clouds, mountains, and volcanos. To render these the artist relies on sources ranging from the familiar (Lincoln’s own backyard), to the splendid (elaborate botanical gardens), to the virtual (images found on the internet), adeptly weaving together disparate imagery to create fantastic worlds rooted in the real.

Lincoln’s hard-earned painterly language, marked by opaque planes of keyed up color, graphic clarity, and flattened pictorial space, brings a somewhat cartoonish quality to each landscape, highlighting the otherworldliness of the forms depicted and inviting entry into almost alien worlds. Playfulness abounds, but it is also a smokescreen for a latent, more complex psychological content. The paintings’ insistence on formal repetition (gently pulsing light gradients and repeating motifs of leaves, stars, clouds) asks the viewer to slow down during the experience of looking and take in each compositional twist and turn. Plants take on uncanny anthropomorphic qualities and seem to exert their will on the structure of the image, competing with and complementing one another as if characters on a stage. This exhibition finds Lincoln deftly threading the needle between the familiar and strange, beauty and mystery.

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Jen Stark: New Public Sculpture

Jen Stark’s art is driven by her interest in conceptualizing visual systems to simulate plant growth, evolution, infinity, fractals, mimetic topographies, and sacred geometries. Using available materials—paper, wood, metal, paint—Stark strives to make work that balances on a razor’s edge of optical seduction and perceptual engagement. 

The resulting works often resemble organic, molecular, cloud-like structures, and are imbued with kinetic, undulating effects that serve to dislocate the viewer from staid reality into an immersive ecosphere of echoing patterns and the implausible designs found in nature. Even her vivid colors are in direct conversation with the natural world; the attractant/repellent properties of flowers encouraging pollination or insects warning birds of their poisonous traits, and the luminous mystery of phosphorescent sea creatures are among Stark’s concerns.

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Sarah Anne Johnson "Rosy Fingered Dawn"

Like the goddess of daybreak in Homer’s Odyssey, Sarah Anne Johnson’s new landscapes recur with beauty and wonder, in a multitude of guises. In her eighth solo show at this gallery, she is taking a more general approach, not limiting herself to a specific place or distinct history. She’s focusing on photographic tropes- landscape scenes from a variety of places that depict sublime natural beauty. But as always, the artist is concerned with the loop between photographic object and “reality.” She poses serious questions, and answers with seductive playfulness. Once again she is trying to bridge that space through the psychology of place, and the dividing line between what is real and what is felt- a quality that remains a balancing act in all of her projects.

Johnson has added materials that undermine the seriousness of these scenes, and with humor she mocks our traditional sense of beauty and high art. Relief elements such as cotton balls artificial flowers and heavily applied epoxy, holographic tape, the use of photoshop and spray paint, all of these interventions gently push us to question our complicated relationship to nature and photography. How are photographs connected to reality, and how is that connection changing? How can we idealize nature with the knowledge of our globally threatened environment?

Instead of trying to harmoniously fuse the real and ideal, she plays with their parallel lives by forcing together contradictions- high and low, two and three D, sincerity and mockery. She provokes delight and suspicion. The emotional push and pull implicates the viewer in contrast to the distance of cool criticality.

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Kai & Sunny "Twists & Turns"

This new body of work by the UK-based duo showcases their uniquely distinguishable compositions of archival ballpoint pen on paper, as well as acrylic paintings on primed aluminum panel.

Twists & Turns is comprised of two narratives; fluid deconstructed landscapes representing a calm isolation through reflection and contemplation, and hard-edged geometrics exuding energy and optimism. These parallel concepts are characterized by the duo’s hallmark precision line work, a slow methodic process of building individual thin lines upon each other creating tense kinetic compositions while a certain fragility remains. The works explores the relationship between color, shape and illusion. How the thin lines can change your perception of the shape ’twisting and turning’ you confusing the foreground and background and inviting you to float in-between the two. The tidal-like waves and intense sunbursts hint at environmental uncertainty but always hopeful of a brighter future through change.

 

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Emil Lukas "Twin Orbit"

Emil Lukas’ exquisitely strange and phenomenological objects are meditations on the way we perceive the world. “We’re affected by lots of things that are larger than us — things we don’t normally know how to see — for example the laws of physics,” says Lukas. “I’m attempting to make the invisible, visible.”

Labor-intensive and experimental, playful and poetic, surprising and delightful, Lukas’ sculptures and sculptural paintings grow out of investigations into gravity, perspective, mathematics, color theory and the properties of light.

Round “paintings” — actually parabolic bowls with tens of thousands of colored threads stretched across — manipulate our sense of space and definition of color. Chunky, plaster works composed of honeycombs of multi-colored pixels create optically vibrating fields, their convex surfaces disrupting our perception of depth. And the centerpiece of the exhibition, a monumental, pixilated, aluminum lens, both restricts and restructures our line of sight.

This exhibition is an examination of seeing, where optics — the study of sight and the behavior of light — is a metaphor for the human ability to derive insight from abstract concepts. “We have two eyes and they are set into our heads in a way that determines our reality — our perspective. Those notions of the way the world exists are what I’m trying to upend.”

Emil Lukas was born in Pittsburgh, PA. He has exhibited extensively internationally and has been collected by, among many others, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Anderson Collection. Lukas has been represented by Hosfelt Gallery since 2006. This is our sixth solo exhibition together.

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David Cooley "Tempus Vincit Omnia"

David Cooley is a self taught artist who has been creating art and general nonsense since he was a youngster. The evolution of David’s work is a result of ongoing experimentation with different techniques and mediums such as acrylic, resin and fabric which has lead his work to become dimensional and highly textural with “spikes” of acrylic paint. These “spikes” of paint form geometric patterns and shapes and sometimes incorporate realistically rendered images creating depth, and striking optical illusions. David paints because he wants to contribute something good to humanity, whether it’s something beautiful, thought provoking and meaningful or just plain fun to look at.

Any general insight into your process you want to share?
The last couple pieces I’ve done have been a lot of fun for me. I was beginning to feel like my approach to my work was getting to be a little too formulaic and rigid. I really wanted to get looser with it somehow and not have such a preconceived idea going into each piece and just let things take shape naturally.

You work with a variety of mediums – Is there one in particular that influences the rest?
Not really, there’s kind of a balance between them all for the most part.

Does geometry and math play a role in your process?
Kind of, there’s obviously a lot geometry going on in my work, but by no means am I some kind of crazy math wiz. I’ve just gotten really good at being meticulous with measurements and angles, I should also probably to come to terms with the fact that I might have just wee bit of ocd…

What is currently influencing you?
I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books lately while I paint. Mostly Alan Watts, Haruki Murakami, Tom Robbins and I’m currently listening to a book on Biological Anthropology. I’m not sure how they actually influence my work, but I do think they can help during the really tedious parts of a painting.

Also time has been an influence lately, there’s nothing like a fast approaching deadline to get the creative juices flowing.

How has your process changed over time?
When I first started doing the textural spikes of paint about 8 years ago, I was only doing very simple square grid patterns. Then I started to play with vanishing points and more complex measurements and angles. I also started to experiment more with different hues of color, that’s when I really began to have fun with optical illusions and depth.

What are some of the responses you hear in regards to your work?
Most people seem to really like it, but sometimes I do get, “Oh wow, so you’re a digital artist!” which is understandable since most people are viewing my work online and there’s no denying that we’re all influenced by the digital world these days. I explain that it’s all done by hand and I don’t use a computer at all during the process, except for maybe reference material from time to time.

What is more important – content or technique?
I think they are both equally important. Although lately I feel my work has been more technique driven where as in the past it had a lot more symbolism and almost a narrative. I think it kind of ebbs and flows between the two.

Your work is very unique, what “style” would you consider it to be? Sculpture, mixed media, etc?
I’d say mixed media for sure. There is a tiny bit of a sculptural aspect to them but not really enough to call them sculptures. I’ve always struggled with describing my work to people. I kind of liked the term “spike-ism” that Andrew Hosner coined.

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Felipe Pantone "Excès de Vitesse"

Felipe Pantone (1986) is an Argentinian-Spanish artist. He started doing graffiti at the age of 12 and graduated with a Fine Art degree in Valencia Spain, where his studio is based. Felipe travels the world ceaselessly with his art. His work has been exhibited all over Europe, America, Australia, and Asia. He continues to break artistic conventions, especially in his new “Excès de Vitesse” (“Speeding” in French) exhibition at ALICE Gallery in Brussels, Belgium. The acclaimed artist created a new series of striking artworks that draw inspiration from computer glitches, kinetic art, graffiti, as well as 3D modeling. Paintings filled with strong colors, sharp edges, and bold shapes are observed throughout the selection alongside small kinetic sculptures that depends on the viewers’ natural motion to unleash a mind-boggling effect. Pantone's approach is to question the current era and its propensity to place new technologies at the center of our daily lives, making us dependent on a superabundance of images and symbols. He himself is passionate about the advent of the internet that allows instant access to the entire history of humanity. The problems he addresses are contemporary and universal: movement, the notion of time, saturation, alienation and destruction.

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Serena Mitnik Miller "Canyon"

C A N Y O N is a solo show of new works by San Francisco and Los Angeles-based painter and designer, Serena Mitnik-Miller. Through organic abstraction and pattern-based work, Miller’s subtle use of color and movement creates a subconscious interpretation of the ocean, nature and California coastline aesthetic. C A N Y O N will see the artist return to San Francisco with a series of watercolor on paper paintings, each painstakingly conceived with multiple layers of color and gestures on each work. The artist notes that the colors used in this particular exhibition are inspired by Topanga Canyon, the region where the artist resides in Southern California. The exhibition will open on June 1st 2018, and run through July 6th, 2018 at Chandran Gallery in San Francisco. 

Mitnik-MIller starts each work by laying out each piece in pencil. This procedure creates a practice
where no two piece is alike. The layout of each work, although organized by a grid, becomes an
naturally flowing process for the artist, where each piece takes a new path. Mitnik-Miller uses
color as the second layer of the process, again, creating what she calls a “very organic” method
to each work. “The shapes and patterns of these pieces represent and exploitation in the
variations of pattern that can be created,” Mitnik-Miller says, “With curves and corners, and a
combination of the two. I find the process of creating with a somewhat controlled process and a
loose medium of watercolor produces results that compel me to do it again.” The imperfections
of the medium, the uncontrollable nature of watercolor on paper, allows for new ways of viewing
each work. They create repetitions but truly unique experiences when seen as a whole in a gallery
setting, but individually become subtle reminders of the artist’s hand on each work.

Serena Mitnik-Miller is an artist and designer working in California. She splits her time between
San Francisco and Los Angeles, combining her days painting, designing, collecting, and
collaborating with her local artisan community. Serena’s paintings are created by hand using
watercolor pigment on paper. The compositions are fashioned by interconnecting patterns of
color and concentric shapes where structures break apart, bubbles stack, and pyramids multiply.
Each painting must strike a balance between layers of color, repetitive contour lines, and the inherent qualities of all the materials she employs. Her artwork usually begins with an impression
from the natural environment, where proximity to the ocean and coastal
habitats, often become symbolic permanent points of reference.

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AEC Interesni Kazki at Mirus Gallery

"The Earth is Flat." The stars are holes in the veil of night. The crocodile is the keeper of the underworld. The north pole is a pyramid shaped mountain from which the oceans of the world pour out. These archaic concepts that were once collective truths have been replaced. Today we look at the scientific and religious dogma of the past with the same amusement that our descendants will one day look at us. Theories are reality until proven otherwise. Earthly existence is awash with depth and mystery, but it’s hard for us humans to live in the dark unknowing. We seek answers, and if no evidence, we speculate. Beliefs are fickle, ideas are fluid and now the technological bandwagon is careening ahead so quickly most can’t keep up with its developments. 

We are living in the information age and a time of great technological inequality. The economic and
educational benefits of our inventions only reach those who can afford them. The divide is problematic but on the bright side allows other worlds to exist within this one. There is diversity of thought in disparity and old ideas persevere. Through exploring the planet one can see that the past, present and future coexist. The earth is now in fact a sphere and the stars are luminous balls of plasma. Still science and technology is not everyone’s god just yet; Blue skinned deities control the fate of millions, the dead dwell with the living, and magic spells cure the sick. While we rely on our smart phones to predict the weather, some can still just observe the day and know what is to come, as our ancestors did. Knowledge comes but it also gets lost. Within the thousands of years of interpretation, what connects us all and what have we forgotten? What can we agree on and what can we accept as unfathomable? Despite our different methods we can almost all agree that earth is in trouble. Though the saviour is ambiguous. A technological angel, a celestial king in white robes, or simply applying ancient knowledge today. Is our technology clouding our intuitive understanding of this world and our place in it? What applies to us all?

Looking into AEC’s work we see these questions. Just like life here on earth, the answers are entangled with duality and complexity. Struck with the same existential inquiries that have plagued the human imagination for centuries, we wonder in awe. We know there is meaning in everything, but we don’t know what it all means. The questions are important, and though we feel at the brink of understanding, solid answers are elusive to an open mind. We are invited into vast landscapes and narratives that replace the literal with metaphor. Time is void. Our planet is depicted not as a sphere, but a cube set ablaze. Gazing into a mirror a man sees the strong arm of the universe in his own reflection. In another painting a small bird removes an eye mask, enabling a blind man to see. A feminine force presents a flower in bloom while standing proudly on the head of an android. There is sublimity in these images. Alchemical transmutation of paint and ink into universal truths. The natural, supernatural, the divine, rock, mineral, plant and animal together speaking the language of paradise. 

These images come at a time when artificial intelligence threatens to overthrow Gaian intelligence. When we yearn to understand distant planets like Mars while still so few understand the planet they call home. AEC peels back the curtains of dogma and cultural parameters allowing us to see glimpses of our own connectivity. Within the millions of stories, theories, and digital databases here are commonalities. The illusion that we are all separate dissolves. He reminds us to peer into the metaphysical background, not dwell in the spiritual vacuum of more technology. 


What is god? Is there an afterlife? What is the soul? How does humankind live sustainably on this earth? They are the same questions we have asked since the beginning. AEC suggests that perhaps the answers that we yearn for have been all around us since the time the earth was flat. They were pointed to in the fundamental roots of religions before egos corrupted them. The mystics, poets, and artists knew. As did indigenous peoples living in harmony within all creation. Like these paintings existence here on earth is full of riddles but clues are in every seed, in every cell, in natural phenomena, in presence. Within the elaborations of science, religion, mythology, cosmology, myths and fairytales are universal truths. We see this kinship in AEC’s images and paradoxically the acceptance that there will always be more to this world than what we humans can perceive. Reviving our humanity adrift a chaotic system of symbols and explanations, we are humbled.   

-Aaron Glasson