Each visual artist in the surreal show at Ico Art & Music Gallery curated by gallery director, Skylor Brummans brings to mind the diverse flavors of a scrumptious scoop of spumone ice cream. This body of work presents a myriad of tastes and textures that define and elaborate upon the diverse aspects of human existence. The scope of artistic expression covers both the tangible and intangible universe. As a diverse collection of works which belong to the school of surrealism, the artists prompt the viewer to consider the physical, spiritual, political, social, psychological and cultural aspects of human existence and behavior.
Humans consistantly question their placement in the greater picture. Struggling to understand the macrocosmic or divine plan with limited and often flawed information is a constant directive that defines the human quotient. The need to understand our origins, behaviors and future path is so deeply rooted in our nature that it becomes the driving force that shapes our evolution. Creative expression catapults humanity with explosive energies toward the discovery of ultimate truths. Pursuit of truth becomes our exquisite expressions of human ideas in the form of art, science, mathematics, philosophy and religion.
The intimate and monochromatic works of Anthony Harris speak to us on an existential level as they explore generalized, but somehow personal, landscapes revealing ancient territorial boundaries. This collection of scratch technique paintings present his signature earth tone pallette and address human placement within particular societies. These societies are governed by human rituals used to determine societal status. Although many landscapes are devoid of human figures, these arresting works speak of ancient and sacred land as a binding element in the course of humanity.
With a strong background in literature and photography, Doug Ross mesmerizes the viewer with allegorical photo portraits that explore human quests, needs and discoveries. Creating stories for the viewer to unravel they demand attention and respect. They are beautiful expressions of these actual individuals highly personalized spiritual journeys and their relationships to mankinds path.
Merrill Steiger's notable works in painting and collage provide a symphony of color and texture to the show. Presenting universal symbols and images that reflect the microcosmic and macrocosmic world, Steiger invites the viewer to consider human existence. The works are filled with a juxtaposition of images that define human spirituality and the universal connections we all share with the whole.
Rainbow colors permeate the painterly compositions and landscapes of Ilona Van Hoek and imbue them with a sense of the surreal. Her artworks rely on man as an essential element in the cosmic picture. Symbolic elements fill these illusionistic paintings with compositional structures that reflect a strong influence from the great northern Renaissance masters.
Ron Griswold's mannerist paintings portray various aspects of modern day women. Presented as icons, they reveal subtle cultural, social and psychological themes. Relying on a colorful palette and building compositions with graphic line and shape, these works deconstruct and redefine form. Ron's madonnas reflect a myriad of attitudes concerning the essence of today's female gender.
Manifestations of human desire dominate the canvases of painter Nicolas Gracey. His masterfully painted nudes are entwined with symbols and themes exploring forbidden passion. These works probe the rise and fall of the human spirit when presented with the desires of the flesh. His compositions contain strong biblical references and invite the viewer to consider their own temptations as a basic construct of the human spirit.
James de Blas works with totem like symbology to discuss the course of human existence in a spiritual context. His paintings contain a mythic quality and hint at man's ever present spiritual existence as a basic element in the natural world. Using surreal color and morphing human and animal elements into symbolic pressences, he seeks ideas that soar toward the divine.
Finally, as artists in the show and also the writers of this review Sharon and Dennis Eavenson humbly refrain from additional commentary on our artworks. We feel they speak for themselves and invite others to contemplate their worth to this amazing group of surreal artists. We have been honored to be included in this flavorful show that superbly explores the artistic spirit striving toward the discovery of truths.