"Nature's Predators" by Ben Venom & Urban Yetti

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"Nature's Predators" by Ben Venom & Urban Yetti

3187 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
October 14th, 2011 - November 4th, 2011
Opening: October 14th, 2011 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

by appointment
mixed-media, installation, graffiti/street-art

Ben Baumgartner (Mr. Ben Venom) and Aaron Eliah Terry (urbanyetti) come from distinct backgrounds but each employ the use of the alter ego in their work as a means of exploring socio-cultural issues stemming from the physical and social structures surrounding their upbringing.  Through this collaboration, Baumgartner and Terry attempt to show individual work and collaborative work created by their alter egos in conjunction with another. This “conversation” takes the form of individual pieces and installation work as both artists employ the use of traditional approaches to printmaking and painting. A joint installation will incorporate mural painted onto gallery walls alongside and overlapping paintings and framed prints.

I’m interested in juxtaposing traditional handmade crafts with one of the more extreme musical genres, Heavy Metal. My work can be described as a collision of Iron Maiden Metal ballads with the outrageous stage antics of Ozzy Osbourne. Serious, yet attempting to take on a B movie Horror film style where even the beasts of Metal need a warm blanket to sleep with. The question remains...Can I play with madness?

Aaron Eliah Terry’s work explores the collision of nature and mankind. His current work questions our ingrained medieval fear of the unknown (people, places and spaces) within a modern day
urban environment. In Terry’s work, nature reacts to nuclear, while humanoid alter egos allow for an assimilation of both old and new worlds. There is a concern with the historical relationship of humans to the environment, from the stories of creation towards the future of space exploration: In our western culture, for every positive look at the future, space or nature, there is a converse fear and negative consequence following in the footsteps of the western world’s need to conquer the unknown as a means of feeling safe. The intrinsic link between fear and hope, and those who deliver us from fear, is expressed through Terry’s creation of an alter ego or hero character: the urbanyetti. This reoccurring figure blurs the imported boundaries between mankind and nature, confronting the collision of the urban and rural worlds that define the artist’s home and landscape, and questioning the practice of social alter egos that often define behavior on a grand scale.