Saturday, August 6, 2016

No Dead Artists 2016 at Jonathan Ferrara


Cosmosis: Video by Ben Long and Jack Schoonover

We all live in outer space—the earth is but a minor planet of a lesser star in the depths of the universe. We also live in inner space—everything we experience comes to us through the senses that are part of the neural systems of our body and mind. Artists work with inner and outer space and everything in between. Every year for the last two decades, the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery's No Dead Artists exhibition has featured the work of artists not yet part of the entrenched interests of the global art world to exhibit their own fresh perspectives on the ever-changing world around us. The results have often been striking for their originality and sometimes for their prescience. Now it its 20th iteration, this 2016 edition continues to intrigue with its insightful exploration of a world transformed by technology-induced changes in which everything can seem closer yet elusively distant, more enlightened in some ways yet more violent in other ways, and where the micro and macro perspectives often can seem to overlap as the disruptive forces of globalism and digital communications forever alter the way personal identity and sense of place are defined.
 
Today cities and towns are paradoxes in which the traditional and the modern assume new guises or meanings as electronic tidal waves of data overwhelm mere mortals through digital devices that turn even the most prosaic words, gestures and activities into electronic artifacts that can live eternal lives in cyberspace, so what was once a world of things becomes a world of abstract patterns. Lithuanian-born Chicago artist Alex Braverman gave up a high tech career to explore this kaleidoscopic reordering of the way we perceive the built environment through his shimmering geometric cityscape photo-collages based on the striking architecture of Chicago, Vienna and other iconic world cities, images that reflect the dizzying perceptual vortexes in which all of us are increasingly immersed.
 
At first glance, Nate Burbeck's bucolic oil on canvas views of spacious Minnesota vistas seem to almost suggest a deadpan update of Norman Rockwell's America, a place of modest suburban enclaves and the harmonious relationships between their mild mannered inhabitants and the state's fertile green expanses. But there is a sweetly surreal, almost virtual-reality quality about some abandoned party balloons on a suburban front lawn, and the stark, graffiti-tagged pillars of an elevated expressway slicing through a verdant green prairie in a world where nature slowly yields to man made abstractions. Click to Continue