UNIX Gallery presents Efflorescence, featuring new paintings, from Zhuang Hong Yi, Machiko Edmondson, Ellen de Meijer, Gavin Rain, Pino Manos, Christian Voigt and more. Efflorescence is on view at UNIX Gallery, 532 W 24th St. New York, NY, from June 25 - August 22, 2015. A midsummer reception will be held on Thursday, July 23, 2015 from 6 - 8 PM.
Machiko Edmondson refers to her practice as a representation of painting rather than as being representational. Despite the overt use of faces as her image source, she regards her work as neither figurative paintings or as portraits of people. Employing the momentary seduction of fashion photography to lure the viewer into the world of idealized beauty, her paintings mimic the styles and codes of the desire industry to question the value and obsessions of aspirational perfection.
Zhuang Hong Yi’s Chinese training combined with Western Impressionist elements produces a vast collection of work. With studios in Beijing and Amsterdam, this cross-cultural artist brings traditional Chinese motifs such as rice paper and ink into the modern era, fusing contemporary form and culturally significant media. A graduate of the SiChuan College of Fine Arts, China and Academy Minerva, the Netherlands, Zhuang Hong Yi has participated at Art Basel Scope (2009); Art HongKong (2009); Art Paris (2010); and Art Amsterdam (2011).
Ellen de Meijer ’s paints a unique contrast of tension and pathos. Her portraits show figures of successful repute, yet vulnerable with an empty gaze. They are armed with digital gadgets, which refer to our zeitgeist of access to information and power. This proliferation of technology becomes a point of dependency while human instincts docilely move to the background. Often they brandish small, bizarre objects or wear gloves symbolic of a societal obsession with sterilization and unattainable perfection. “Our human instincts have not changed, despite that our modern society often expects us to ignore these. It’s this tension that inspires my work,” says de Meijer. Gavin Rain draws from traditional pointillist studies with a mix of the Russian avant-garde of the early 1900’s an modern digital images. His layering of styles communicates a particular message: “I usually dislike art that doesn’t communicate anything.” Rain’s works aims to stimulate the eye and mind simultaneously, creating a constant fluctuation of information being transmitted between the work and the viewer. Educated in Art and Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town, Rain has been featured in the 2011 Venice Biennale, TEFAF Maastricht, and has commissioned portraits for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in his home country.
Christian Voigt has developed a language capable of telling new stories. He continually works to refine a pictorial idiom, the stories he wants to tell, the feelings he convey. His principal areas of interest are landscape and architecture, but he also does portraits and nudes. The travels associated with his projects and places call for concentration for the ability to fully understand people, their history and their religion. His series on the vanished architecture of the past and its appearance in our own times come across just as vividly as the craziness of today’s societies that his images depict. “My pictures are created with the camera, not on the computer,” he says, with a reference to the complicated technology and processing that goes into his creations. Born in Munich, Voigt currently lives and works in Hamburg, Germany and the south of France.
Pino Manos was born in Sassari on March 10, 1930. In 1951 he moved to Milan where he attended the Academy of Fine Arts “Cimabue” (along with Enrico Castellani and Vincenzo Agnetti) and “Brera”. Working with Augustine Bonalumi and Lucio Fontana, Manos expanded his body of work, adhering to the movement of Spatialism. In 1980 he founded in Milan “The Creative” for the socialization of Art and the development of creativity as a therapeutic element. The aim and purpose of the association is the awakening of latent potential in every individual is important, through creativity liberate the energies and untapped potential in a progressive journey of body awareness in its multiple modes of communication and expression. This endeavor furthers his expression of manipulating the canvas and making it just as much an emotional expression of the work as a vehicle for his painting Justin Bower ’s striking and complex portraits speak to the destabilizing effect technology has on the individual and how it has infected the daily lives of contemporary man. The artist places these post-human faces in a nexus of interlocking spatial systems and augments specific features - such as three eyes, spliced noses, melting mouths - to optically play with notions of stasis, and conceptually destabilize the subject.
Born in San Francisco and currently living in Los Angeles, Bower’s post-human subjects separate human from non-human, interior from exteriority and self from binaries. He addresses an invasive trauma that is encountered daily and how we might interact with it symbolically.
Marcello Lo Giudice combines his knowledge of the Earth’s metamorphoses with a profound affection for organic, geological substances to create a variety of meticulously crafted paintings and sculptures. Lo Giudice composes vibrant and energetic paintings by spreading and layering colorful pigments thickly on the canvas, thus creating a coarse, haptic surface. Internationally renowned art critic and Yves Klein historian, Pierre Restany, defined Lo Giudice as an exceptional “telluric” painter. Lo Giudice has been exhibited at the main pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2009 and 2011 and has a significant European and American collector base.
Los Angeles-based artist Desire Obtain Cherish creates controversial works by twisting appropriation of art, luxury brands, material culture, sex, drugs, pop icons, and questioning the very system that holds it all in such high esteem. Through cutting-edge material - UV cast resin and other amalgamations - and exquisite craftsmanship, he creates immaculately produced sculpture and mixed media works that confront the viewer with a mirror of the commodification of society. Desire Obtain Cherish’s sardonic, vibrant pieces expose society’s voracity and limitations, and questions commercial promises of fulfillment and happiness that end in dependency.