Experiences and moments, from the everyday to the once-in-a-lifetime, are enjoyed and endured through a limited filter of just 5 senses, and the essential physicality of the body. Athen B. Gallery’s group show, “Condition” refers specifically to the included artists’ diverse avenues of examination into this particular (and also perhaps peculiar) human condition. With each artist’s unique depictions and perspectives of the human form, combined with the collective exchange of ideas among the assorted work in the gallery space, “Condition” becomes a potent presence and affective narrative of the theme explored.
For some, like those of Franco Fasoli (aka JAZ) and Ever reveal how the aesthetics of the body has been inextricably linked with myth and religion, and enlightenment and reason, that may conflict with its physical definitions, often loaded with primitive, animal connotations. Fasoli’s hybrid creatures like minotaurs, and humans combined with avian heads and wings, engage with Argentinian culture and folklore. Other works, such as the bare-chested wrestlers in combat with animals, often unable to discern one body from another, may seek to illustrate the polarity of the human condition, at once enlightened and primitive. Described idealized with “a religious slant,” Ever’s work bestow the human body with spiritual iconography. Enveloped with aureoles and emanating rays of light are not uncommon, as are not symbolic images around the figure, transcend his humans to superhuman prominence.
There are still of course so many more means for which the human figure can be a font of creative inspiration. For many, like Zio Ziegler and Troy Lovegates, the composition and visual vitality of the human body is inspiration enough to propose art-making. Ziegler’s paintings combine intricate patterns sourced from a wide variety of influences: from late medieval and quattrocento painting to aboriginal, African, and Naive art, with complementary elements of the human body, seemingly inspired by post-war artists like Legere and Picasso, and the Cubist style. Artworks by Canadian artist Troy Lovegates, with similar interests in a heavily patterned, saturated figure, will often juxtapose these patterns and abstracted colored shapes with heavily realist hands, heads, feet and other extremities. His figures are realized from caricature and careful observation from life.
“Condition” will be at Athen B. Gallery 1525 Webster Street through October 2, 2015