Billy Norrby: "The Fury" / Matt Rota: "City Of The Dead"
Saturday, April 14th, 7-11pm
Last Rites Gallery hosts solo shows with Billy Norrby & Matt Rota…
BILLY NORRBY: THE FURY
Last Rites Gallery presents The Fury, new works by Billy Norrby, in what will be his first solo show at the gallery.
Billy Norrby’s paintings juxtapose classical aesthetic with themes of contemporary turmoil, as masterful brushwork tells the tale of 20th century revolution. In his art he illustrates the defiant nature of humanity, and it is the average person who is the protagonist. With their impassioned expressions and commanding air, these modern radicals are canonized, idealized, and painted with an almost saintly reverence, harkening back to religious iconography. It is with homage to the old world that Norrby tells the story of the dawning of a new era.
“Fury is a collection of work inspired in part by the Theban plays. Images seen through the unending 24/7 news cycle are filtered through a grander, mythological context. Tying the struggles of our time with the nostalgic notion of the loss of an earlier era, an aging city has become a shadow of it's former self. Turmoil on the streets is contrasted against the splendor of buildings who embody its former glory and ideals. At the heart of destruction of the ancient world, we find the figures of defiance. They are the actors or the ones being acted upon by malevolent forces.” -Billy Norrby
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Billy Norrby is a Brooklyn based oil painter and fine artist. Since his graduation from SVA in 2010, he has appeared in numerous exhibits throughout the world, and publications such as Spectrum and 3X3. "Fury" marks his first solo show in New York.
MATT ROTA: CITY OF THE DEAD
Last Rites Gallery presents City Of The Dead, new works by Matt Rota, in what will be his first solo show at the gallery.
Painting exclusively in watercolor, Matt Rota creates complex and engaging narratives. At first glance, what appear to be serene landscapes become unsettling apparitions as enigmatic details of his compositions unravel. With natural open spaces alongside elements of urban atrophy, his paintings journey through delicate line-work with pristine gradients into fervid textural regions. Yet, apparent even amongst his scenes of chaos and rubble, is an astute handing of paint and expert use of color. With his latest body of work, Rota delves even deeper into themes of societal decay.
“In the City of the Dead, ghosts wander through the rubble of a million battles. All time converges here and specters from ancient battlefields haunt the ruins and cross paths with victims of modern warfare as if there was only ever one war that continues to echo on into infinity.” -Matt Rota
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Matt Rota is an award winning illustrator based in New York and an instructor at institutions that include the School of Visual Art, and The Maryland Institute College of Art. His clients include The New York Times, McSweeney's, Nylon, The Utne Reader, LA Weekly, Russian Esquire, Philadelphia Weekly, The Columbia Journalism Review, Science News, Ninja Tune Records, Time Out Chicago, City magazine, Isthmus, Wax poetics, and other publications. His drawings and prints have been shown in galleries in New York, Hollywood, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Maine, Toronto, and San Salvador. He has received recognition and awards from The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, 3x3 Magazine, Creative Quarterly, and Lurzer’s Int’l Archive. His comics have been anthologized on Top Shelf 2.0, and in Gutter, Rabid Rabbit, and Supertalk.
ABOUT LAST RITES GALLERY:
Established in 2008, Last Rites has become a premiere gallery for the Dark Art movement and a haven for artists who prefer to explore the ominous, uncomfortable, and eccentric in their work. Striving to showcase some of the most thought-provoking art in contemporary surrealism, Last Rites creates an atmosphere where the artist can harness limitless expression and the observer can reflect inward, inspired to understand that which resides in us all. The uniqueness of Last Rites, aside from its focus on such work, is the collaborative effort between founding director, Genevive Zacconi and Paul Booth. The fact that they are both accomplished artists as well, allows for a stronger relationship with the exhibited artists, and a more understanding and creative approach to the overall presentation of their work- enhancing the experience for everyone who visits Last Rites Gallery. Last Rites Gallery is located at 511 W 33rd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues (3 blocks from Penn Station), 3rd floor, New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 2pm to 9pm, Sundays 2pm to 6pm. For more information, please visit: www.lastritesgallery.com or call: 212.529.0666.