"WOK THE DOG"
This exhibition features the works of photographer Charlie Grosso, (a Taiwanese-born Chinese-American woman with an Italian male name) and painter Tony Mosca.
Tony Mosca will present his latest abstract paintings. Watch a short video of this exhibition.
Charlie Grosso will present "Walk The Dog", a series of photographs detailing Asian marketplaces. Below is a statement by the artist:
“Wok the Dog” began as an exploration of childhood fears. Clean, brightly lit supermarkets didn’t exist in Taipei in the early 80’s. Groceries were bought at old- fashioned markets where mothers and wives knew the best vegetable vender, the butcher with the best cuts and the couple that sold the cheapest fruits. The markets were dark, full of pungent smells; floors were slick with blood and water. The sounds of caged and dying animals filled the space. Being three feet tall, I was afraid of getting lost in the crowd, taken by the butcher, caged, and sold.
At 18, I returned to Taiwan and to the markets, wanting to see what had made me so afraid. The markets had changed. They are now more sanitary, brighter, and air-conditioned. But the struggle of life and death remained.
I have photographed the markets in various parts of the world for ten years now.
What was once fear has turned into an examination at the commerce of life: the death of the animal sustains our lives and the livelihood of the vendors. I realize how purchasing packaged meats, “pink in plastic” at supermarkets, made me forget about where food comes from. It creates a sense of detachment and dulls the awareness of what dinner is. There is a harmony between man and his food that comes from cherishing our dinner and acknowledging that the pork chop on
his plate once had four legs and a beating heart.
As I continued to photograph the markets, I began to understand the cost of America’s industrialized food system and our reliance upon refrigeration. The sterility of 24-hour superstore renders us blind to any appreciation for the natural equilibrium we impact with our food purchases. Convenience has permitted us to avoid our own mortality. Our detachment makes the food less special, and life less precious. We would not eat as we do, or waste as we do if we really understood what
it takes to produce a six ounce steak. We forget about seasons and turn a blind eye to scarcity. Expediency and modernity robs us of a connection to life.
After a couple of years, I looked beyond the animals, and saw the vendors and their lives.
I see the butcher and fish-monger, who have surrounded their days with death; produce sellers singularly devoted to the one item they have to sell. I asked myself, “How is it possible for someone to live on such a meager inventory of goods?” Yet, these same vendors return day after day, year after year. Surprisingly, I found more humanity and joy in the portraits of the vendors, these death dealers, than one would expect.
In a single breath it became clear to me. There is a sanctity ingrained in death, a truth in that we are, head to toe, animals too. We are beasts eating beasts. Recognizing the truth of it enhances our humanity; the bestiality lies in our avoidance. “Wok the Dog” is about our mortality and the cost of our sustained lives, and about understanding the full karmic consequences of our dinner.