Phone Booth Gallery is proud to present Allegory of the Hybrid, an exhibition of contemplative new work by Brazilian graphic designer Maikon Nery. This online exhibition will run from August 15 to September 11, 2009 and can be seen at www.phoneboothgallery.com.
Allegory of the hybrid wades through the mayhem of cultural imagery in search of something true, using the accoutrements of design as ammunition. Glue, paint, magazines, and graphite, all materials with their own individual histories and baggage, together approximate the strange soup we live in—a soup in which fears, hopes, traditions, lineages, and relationships, all swim around each other. The hybrid creatures that Nery creates, combining sleek found images with expressive marks, intimately engage the difficulties of understanding identity.
Works like Allegory No.02, in which the expectant face of a baby is crowned by a whole crowd of adult faces and surrounded by tapestry-like drawing, explore what it means to be a single person dependent upon history and community. Other works raise the stakes higher: in Allegory No.09, a woman wields an axe as others look on, amused. Her face has been replaced by a view of the city behind her, making self indistinguishable from place and tying her potential violence to her surrounding. This merging of the cultural and personal gives Nery’s work its poignancy.
Influenced by the Tropicalists, Cinema Novo and Neo-Concretists Guimarães Rosa, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Nery’s own mixed aesthetic reflects the intermingling of culture inheritance that interests him. In Nery’s work, a pure self does not, and should not, exist. Our inability to distinguish where we begin and where our culture ends is what makes life a rich, unpredictable experience.
Allegory of the Hybrid traces Nery’s journey to understand how his own heritage and surroundings coalesced into the person he has become. The result of the journey: fourteen eccentric, poetic, mixed media glimpses into the chaos of human life.