DECODED invites the viewer to reconsider the subtle forms of communication developed by artists and the complex concepts possible through multi-layered, multi-reference approaches. This exhibition explores the notion of art as mediated through ‘languages’ of different types in which meaning is conveyed by indirect reference and symbolic representation. These artists each explore a complex mix of ideas and images to articulate something not obvious via ‘strictly’ visual means.
In their collaboration, Sorin Abraham and Michael Ricardo Andreev have developed an elaborate ‘language’ of symbols that reference specific, and often abstract, ideas as a means of framing their concept and title for each piece and in a manner that is reminiscent of Asian ‘pictographic’ languages. As a result, each symbol and title can contain a rich depth of meaning and ‘historical’ references to personal and universal human experience. For example, the piece entitled “Dream of Love” contains Andreev’s hand-painted symbols for “dreaming” and “love” overlaid on Abraham’s photograph of model girlfriend, Luba (which means love in Russian), in repose at the beach. The way Sorin and Michael work with their models to explore the ideas with which they grapple is a revelation of the many dimensions involved in their simultaneously personal and inter-personal approach to artistic communication. In addition to the major works, the language they have created will also be presented in unique constructions, part book and part artwork, as a codebook or cypher dictionary for their exhibition.
Bob Clyatt‘s sculptural work is a similarly complex amalgam of ancient and modern subject matter and methods in which he blends ancient Japanese Raku firing techniques, figure posing based on the primal self-expression of the Japanese dance form Butoh and references to both universal issues of human concern and particular issues of life in the modern era. In this way, Bob creates a particularly intricate, powerful, and unique blend of multi-layered referential communication that considers what it means to be human according to multiple cultures and histories, while also engaging both the individual and social dimensions of human existence, emotion, and responsibility. Moreover, Clyatt’s interest in the unpredictable crackling and use of botanicals in Raku, the quietude of Zen philosophy, and the improvisatory nature of Butoh reflect additional fascinating layer of referential meaning that highlights the organic and dynamic aspects of our lives. We hope you find this exhibition as profound and thought provoking as we do!