Vitruvius, a group exhibition featuring the work of Jonathan Brand, Gregory Euclide, Jacob Hashimoto, James Jean, Saelee Oh, Alexander Tarrant and Eric White.
As an architect, engineer, historian and soldier, Vitruvius was an inspiration for artisans and inventors even centuries after his death. He served under Julius Caesar and was sponsored by Emperor Augustus for life. Leonardo da Vinci's most celebrated figure study was named in his honor. Perhaps one of the earliest examples of a 'Renaissance Man', Vitruvius was and remains a symbol of creativity, strength and foresight. In that spirit, a group of contemporary artists bring their diverse talents to this exhibition.
Jonathan Brand brings a flatly tongue-in-cheek humor reflecting his childhood steeped in American auto industry-folklore with his replica Ford engine created from paper pieced together in the manner of a jigsaw puzzle. James Jean conveys his illustrative expertise into the arena of jewelry (through his exclusive boutique OVM Love) with porcelain skulls and psychedelic butterflies becoming active reminders of the fragility of the natural world and the imagination, itself. Quirky, disturbing reinventions of classic LP covers are created by Eric White, recalling dated subjects and distorting the timeless messages inherently communicated through the music's cover art. Gregory Euclide's painted scenes burst into lifelike dioramas with natural elements in his constructed landscapes built from found objects and painterly gestures. Saelee Oh’s fairy tale like works on paper explore the connections of the settings and characters depicted within the natural and dreamlike scenarios she fashions. Alexander Tarrant delivers a matter-of-fact 'cultural relic' in the form of a used 'blunt' (marijuana wrapped in a Swisher Sweet cigar wrap) found on the set of his own fictitious news program, GGN News, featuring rap artist Calvin Broadus (aka Snoop Dogg.) Finally, Jacob Hashimoto's intricately-crafted miniature 'kites' threaded together congeal forming monumental tapestries, alluding to imagery found within analog vistas, video games and other types of early digital displays: references to the 'meta-history' of contemporary art are constantly shifted and misplaced, but somehow found in unexpected permutations.
The artists of Virtruvius subscribe to an ethic of constant experimentation and reinvention, mirroring the legacy of the Roman citizen, himself. Looking towards the future of contemporary art, the exhibition engages and challenges its viewers to seek out new ways of seeing with a solid reliance upon the vital energies of the past.