Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Things are not always as they seem

This elusive concept haunts the periphery of three distinct artists’ works, and for the month of April, Projects Gallery (which also sells my work) has three simultaneous solo shows of disparate artists who are united under the umbrella concept of Perception : Reality.

Ross BonfantiCanadian Ross Bonfanti creates his popular "concreatures" (if you've ever been to an art fair anywhere, any art fair... you've seen them) by rescuing cute, stuffed animals from thrift stores and ripping the stuffing out of ‘em.

The empty vessels are then filled with concrete. Once cured, the fur skin is peeled away, leaving a disarming "concreature" in place. Textured with the underside of the fabric, with fur embedded in the exposed seams, these sculptures retain their plush appearance and original features, including button eyes and noses.

The resulting sculpture is a constant juxtaposition between the expected and the actual.

lauren LyonsPhiladelphian Lauren Lyons is widely regarded for her photography of bands in highly stylized shoots.

She has photographed artist portraits and cheeky scenarios for illustrious clients such as Interscope Records, PETA, HBO, and Philadelphia Magazine. Celebrated for her accentuation of the artifice of her subjects, Lyons’ work exemplifies a contraction; she captures the visual evidence of the veneer.

Her carefully constructed images provide elusive glimpses at the truth, enough to ‘whet the palette’, ultimately creating a composed stylized truth.

Alex Queral’s EdFellow Cuban Alex Queral’s carved phonebooks usually receive the “how’d-he-do-that?” attention wherever they are exhibited. His lushly detailed carvings are created from the soft material of phonebooks. Using classical carving techniques on an unexpected material, Queral brings forth the individual from the faceless masses. Queral crafts recognizable visages, vaguely familiar but elusively foreign, as well as evoking his own cast of characters from the bound sheets of paper.

Projects Gallery presents these three divergent artists from different regions of the continent. Each will be given their own exhibition space to focus on the individual artist, but the thematic thread connects them all. Popular in their own right, Perception : Reality invites the viewer to discover what lays beyond the first impression of these three artists’ works.

Perception : Reality will be on display April 6 - 25, 2009. There will also be an artist reception on First Friday, April 6th from 6 - 9 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Projects Gallery is located at 629 N. 2nd St. in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties section.

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