JAUS is very pleased to present Mother of Hedone, a group exhibition featuring work by Marcos Castro (Mexico City), Shiri Mordechay (Tel Aviv/Los Angeles/New York), and Ruby Osorio (Los Angeles), and Davide Zucco (Belluno, IT/New York). The four artists create arresting and hallucinatory images that seamlessly integrate draftsmanship with expressive abandon, utilizing predominantly the most unforgiving of materials: ink and watercolor on paper. These four artists, who come from disparate physical communities, share an uncannily overlapping visual vocabulary that nevertheless yields distinct and highly personal results. Their work navigates the realms of the unconscious and mythology without falling prey to nostalgia or mere repetition of Surrealism’s tropes and motifs.
The title of the exhibition is a reference to Greco-Roman mythology, more specifically the story of Psyche, mother of Hedone (Latin: Volupta) and wife of Eros (Latin: Cupid/Amor). Psyche, as the name suggests, was the personification of the human soul who was also an incredibly beautiful, mortal woman. Her beauty was such that people believed she was Aphrodite (Latin: Venus) in the flesh. This aroused the ire of the goddess, sending her son Eros to make her fall in love with a brute. He instead falls in love with Psyche, and later she with him, causing a string of terrible events culminating in Aphrodite making her take on a series of nearly impossible and treacherous tasks. The gods, including Zeus, favor Psyche, and she completes these tasks with their assistance. Psyche and Eros are ultimately allowed to wed, she is transformed into a goddess, and their daughter Hedone is born, the embodiment of pleasure and lust.
This story, as well as the current exhibition is meant to be an allegory of the human psyche and transcendence, that one must fall from grace in order to find it. These ideas run through the course of the history of storytelling whether it is the story of Psyche, Pinocchio or Siddhartha. Although none of the artists reference specifically the story of Psyche, throughout the works exhibited, images that conjure pain, horror and suffering coexist with others that invoke sensuality, desire and pleasure, heightening the arousal of multiple emotions at a single glance. In the wrong hands, such lofty attempts might result in works that appear sophomoric and passé. These artists, however, not only succeed at creating highly accomplished and relevant work, they excel at it.
Marcos Castro: Born and raised in Mexico City, Marcos Castro studied fine art at The National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking “La Esmeralda”. Castro's drawings replete with images of nature, violence and death poetically, and at times cynically, blur the line between story, event and manifestation as a method of transmitting his hallucinatory narratives.
He has shown individually at Luis Adelantado (Valencia, Spain) and Proyectos Monclova (Mexico City), and collectively at Museo Carrillo Gil, Casa del Lago and Museo Tamayo in Mexico City.
Shiri Mordechay: Shiri Mordechay gives us a topsy-turvy world of mundane and mad images in sprawling paintings that curl onto the floor, snake around corners, and spill into space. We see nipple rings on giant breasts, bloody roadkill, spider webs, and Gothic mansions. It’s Charles Adams meets Edgar Allen Poe meets Animal Planet. Mordechay never allows us to look at any one thing; chaos and tumult reign. One thing leads to the next in this perpetual image-imagination flow. It makes stream of consciousness into a torrent of unconsciousness.- Jerry Saltz
Born in Israel and raised in Nigeria, Mordechay now received her BFA at SFAI (San Francisco Art Institute), and her MFA at SVA (School of Visual Art). She also studied fine arts at the Avni Institute in Tel Aviv. She has exhibited individually at Plane Space (New York) and Pigman gallery (San Francisco). In addition to a number of group exhibitions, Mordechay was included in Carpetbag + Cozyspace at Healing Arts Gallery (Brooklyn, NY) curated by Kristin Calabrese, Phantasmania at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City, MO), and Imposible world at Mole Vanvitelliana (Ancona, Italy) curated by Daniele Ugolini.
Ruby Osorio: Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Ruby Osorio received a BA in Sociology at UCLA and studied art at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. In her detailed drawings/paintings, Osorio explores identity, transformation and the boundaries between the fictional and the mundane. With the female heroine as a central character, Osorio mines a wide range of literary and cultural references, and subtly deconstructs the conventional or traditional attributes projected onto women.
Exhibitions include solo shows at Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis and Laguna Art Museum, and group shows at Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City and the Japanese American Museum, Los Angeles. In 2007, Christopher Knight for Los Angeles Times placed her #1 in a list of “45 painters under 45”.
Davide Zucco: Davide Zucco was born in 1981 in Belluno, Italy. His work deals with the conflict where opposing forces meet such as good and evil, life and death, light and shade, wonderful and terrifying. His work can be seen as a translation of universal concepts such as the harmony of nature and the struggle between good and evil into allegories. The figures are often metamorphic, they signify a tragicomic personal mythology inspired from popular culture and nature.
Solo exhibitions include EvilDevil at Perugi Artecontemporanea (Padova, Italy), and No Tears at Mogadishni gallery (Aarhus, Denmark). He has also exhibited at AMT gallery (Milan, Italy), Katzen Arts Center (Washington D.C.) and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (San Marino Republic).