Myth and Mutations
April 10 - May 2, 2015
Opening Friday, April 10TH, 7 – 9PM
Myth and Mutations is a group exhibition featuring the work of Richie Brown, Rachel Maclean, Jonathan Monaghan, Yara Travieso, Wang Fe-Yang, and Yaloopop. The exhibition focuses on artists that reshape and mix symbols, allegories and creatures from past histories with imagery, subject matter, and aesthetics found in contemporary culture. A diverse range of mediums is displayed including video, animation, illustration, and 3D printed sculpture. An array of parables is present with meanings and mysteries that allude to present-day desires, fears, truths and morals. Unhinged from one particular foundation a range of mythologies and symbols emerges in each artwork. Fables from ancient Greece are mixed with Internet memes, as well as pop music paired with surreal landscapes. As the artists demonstrate, myths evolve over time and but their relevance remains persistent – they continue to hold an influence and relation to everyday life.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Intensifying typefaces and emojis into sacred icons, Richie Brownʼs mixed media collages convert computer languages into ancient runes and sigils. The assembled images are a mixture between contemporary iconographies – WiFi signals and Windows cursors – with patterns and glyphs common in ritual magic and dark arts. The mundane symbols used for office work and emails are enhanced with unique signification. Accompanying the illustrations is a tome inspired by the Codex Seraphininanus that provides an interpretation of the icons and their hidden meaning.
Rachel MacLeanʼs hyper-glowing artificially saturated narratives slip in and out of history and parallel worlds. As MacLean states her work, “attempts to unify the aesthetic of The Dollar Store, YouTube, Japanese manga, Hieronymus Bosch and High Renaissance painting with MTV style green screen and channel changing cuts.” This fusion of elements is apparent in her recent film “Over the Rainbow”. Inspired by Technicolor utopias found in childrenʼs television the film depicts a shape-shifting world of cuddly monsters, faceless clones, and gruesome pop divas. Intrigue, fear, and metamorphosis are used to explore a dark, comedic parody of fairytales, video games, and horror movies.
Jonathan Monaghan creates sculpture and animated video that challenges the boundaries between real, imagined, and virtual. Pulling from various sources such as religious iconography, advertising, and video games, he builds compelling 3D environments and objects. Notably “Alien Fanfare” and “The Checkpoint” consist of a menagerie of baroque architecture, modern design, and symbolic creatures fused together in a surreal depiction of an alienʼs birth and rise to power. In the works the furniture design of Le Corbusier is joined with the form of a winged dragon, and Albrecht Durerʼs Triumphal Arch is envisioned with floating Whole Foods logos and video game weaponry.
Working within a broad range of mediums, notably performance and video, Yara Travieso creates stage works and installations that observe Greek tragedies, spectacles, and the void. In “Laid In Earth”, a tiny baroque opera in the form of a small plexi-glass theater abstracts the famous aria Didoʼs Lament by Henry Purcell which is based on the Greek tragedy of love and death known as of Dido and Aeneas. It is unknown whether the tragedy truly occurred, but its universal themes are reshaped into an intimate form. In Traviesoʼs depiction Dido, the queen of Carthage, sings amongst a murky swampland pleading to be remembered for her greatness after death. Utilizing 3D printed sculpture
Wang Fe-Yeng combines the human form with consumer products and creatures found in Chinese and Greco-Roman mythologies. The sculpture “Centaur 21” depicts a hybridization of an automobile and a human form. The union of consumer and desired object gives way to a new depiction of the centaur, a beast known for its power and transcendence of human capability. The sculptural series “Figure A” depicts the human forms with heads consisting of pig skulls and deer antlers – which constitute the symbol of the dragon in Chinese culture. Consisting of many meanings the figures are also poised in positions that reference classical Renaissance paintings, alluding to many histories simultaneously.
Yaloopopʼs video installations and projections demonstrate contemporary mythmaking. “A Stage Missing Idol Star / Moon Video” is inspired by Korean pop idol worship, featuring an empty stage and the sound of prehistoric bronze bells used by shamans, the idols never appear leaving behind an empty altar for worshipped stars. In “Pink Fall Mountain With Ginseng Exercise” Yaloopop references Koreaʼs New Millennium Workout Routine, and the enigmatic aura surrounding Red Ginseng which is rumored to contain healing and rejuvenating properties.