Concept and execution collided with seamless grace at Modern Eden Gallery on January 18th, as they unveiled their latest exhibit, "Feral Creatures". Curated by PC founder Stephanie Chefas, the show was built around the notion of animal as both symbol and allegory in the human world. In essence,the exhibit was an array of stunning sculptures and provocative paintings featuring at least one creature or animal in either a natural or man-made setting. The tone ranged from cute to weird to all-out grim to all of the above at once. Artists such as Peter Gronquist, JAW Cooper, Michael Page, Christina Mrozik, Michael Alm, Caitlin Hackett, Anita Kunz, Jason Wheatley, Zoe Williams, and Kikyz1313 contributed. Some highlights of the show included Gronquist's mounted deer head with elaborate, over-size antlers shrouded in turf and Michael Page's "Odin's Protector", an enormous painting absolutely drenched with bright color and imagery. Christina Mrozik and Caitlin Hackett presented works that were similar in spirit while retaining their own essence--both artists focused on dark, detailed portrayals of long-beaked birds in different settings.
Also stopping guests in their tracks was Michael Alm's "Jackrabbit" . Made entirely of wood and cedar shavings (with glass or the eyeballs), the rabbit destroyed the line between natural and artificial, presenting a piece that was at once clearly made in a studio and yet so clinically true-to-form that it could've taken off running at any moment. Similarly, Zoe Williams' albino, hairless cats were so life-like that it took restraint not to pet them.
"Feral Creatures" is a show of both excellent taste and tact. The work isn't overdone and the concept isn't hammered to death. By selecting such a nice range of artists and incorporating sculptures and paintings, Chefas demonstrates a clear ability to create atmosphere without resorting to bombast. As a result, there is a genuine harmony amongst the various pieces and at no point does the central concept of the show overtake the beauty of the artwork or the essence of the artist. Lovers of both creatures and art owe it to themselves to swing by the gallery while the show is still on display.
"Feral Creatures" will be on view through February 8th at Modern Eden Gallery.
Artist Christina Mrozik
Christina Mrozik, "Nestlings" (detail)
Artists Zoe Williams, Michael Alm, Christina Mrozik, Caitlin Hackett, and JAW Cooper
Guests with Michael Page's artworks
Artist Michael Alm
Michael Alm, "Jackrabbit (Lepus Californicus)" detail
Artist Michael Page
Michael Page, "Odin's Protector" (detail)
Art Critic Daniel Rolnick and Artist JAW Cooper
Guests with Caitlin Hackett artwork
Caitlin Hackett "Lazaret I" (detail)
Caitlin Hackett "Lazaret II" (detail)
Caitlin Hackett (foreground) and Peter Gronquist (background)
Artist Peter Gronquist
Guests with Jason Wheatley's artworks
Jason Wheatley "Metamorphosis Metaphor"
Kikyz1313 (foreground), Christina Mrozik (background)
Artist Zoe Williams
Curator Stephanie Chefas and Photographer Roman Cho
Artists Christina Mrozik, Zoe Williams, and Caitlin Hackett
Modern Eden Gallery