In the Soze Gallery's new show "Close is Too Far" the work of Joseph Martinez and Caleb Hahne lets us enter the realm of spiritualists and Art Nouveau dreamers. Caleb Hahne's work is filled with ghostly figures, draped with gauze and fading into each other. Each is meticulously rendered in the style of the European masters with Surrealist overlays and arrangements. Conjuring up images of graveyard angels and Renaissance tombs Hahne's work pulls us into a Victorian view of the supernatural and leaves the viewer haunted. A sense of menace and foreboding permeates his oeuvre along with a delicacy of style and form. Joseph Martinez' work arises from a blending of everyday paper objects from the turn of the last century with modern street art composition. Each piece utilizes a collage of old currency, booklets, and prints alongside finely painted miniatures and scenes. The overall feeling is one of nostalgia for a long lost world, faded and forgotten but still grand. Certain pieces recall the work of Alphonse Mucha while others seem to draw from the work of contemporary Brooklyn artist Swoon all blended together into a succinct whole.
This show reminds us that there are still new ways to use the styles of the old masters and that beauty and mystery can still be central to art.
All images provided by the gallery