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Opening: Saturday, February 4th from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Exhibition: February 4th - March 6th, 2017
64 Colors, Allison Bamcat, Amy Van Gilder, Edith Waddell, Emiko Woods, Heather Gross, Jill Bencsits, Lena Sayadian, Mariam Keurjikian, Nana Williams, Paige Jiyoung Moon, Po Yan Leung, Sally Deng, Shanghee Shin, Valerie Pobjoy, Zoe Williams
Special Window Installation by Yetis & Friends and Amy Van Gilder
On Saturday, February 4th, Flower Pepper Gallery is pleased to present, Wild Heart, a themed group exhibition, which takes place during one of the most romantic times of the year. Each artist was asked to depict an animal, either as a portrait or in an imagined setting, which has resulted in works that are both tender and enchanting. Combined with each artists’ unique individual style, this show is sure to delight and inspire those who wish to let their imaginations run wild and free.
Participating artist Valerie Pobjoy’s rich painting style re-embodies the Dutch masters in an entirely new way that is full of emotion and understanding. Her piece for this exhibition, Valley of Flowers, depicts Holly, who many will recognize from Pobjoy’s previous work. The texture and beauty of this piece is remarkable as she elevates a simple mundane moment to something filled with nostalgia and idealism. This piece all at once captures the hope and melancholy of love and portrays it in a way that is endearing and timeless.
In a similar way, Sally Deng’s unique illustrative style and neutral color palette combine to encapsulate periods of history and the realities that people face from different walks of life. Her work is full of empathy as she illustrates scenes that are often politically charged. Her beautiful use of composition and color draws her audience in and allows her message to be perceived honestly. As the viewer enters the scene, they are left to sympathize, and find hope with the characters or animals that occupy that space.
Nana Williams, in addition to being half the Yetis & Friends team, also uses her skill to create stunning portraits of imaginative animals and mysterious muses. Her drawings and paintings are inspired by folklore, mythology, and the occult, and portray femininity as a force not to be taken lightly. The animals in her work, surrounded by lush foliage and flowers, act as emotional metaphors, just as their skin, painted with porcelain vase motifs convey their own fragility. Similarly, artist Lena Sayadian uses animals to reveal how humans foolishly try to manipulate the delicate balance of nature. Her highly rendered creatures are often portrayed with landscapes on their backs, roots sprouting from within, or with cracks on their skin threatening to destroy them altogether. Her aim is to show how “Our beastly counterparts serve as a mirror through which we might better understand ourselves, and perhaps help us recognize the natural world less as an artifact to be regarded, but instead as the true home in which we live and breath.”
Likewise, Emiko Woods uses her work as a way to understand the connectedness of nature with hopes that we might gain greater knowledge of the truths within. Her illustrative style combined with her topographical, paper-cut backgrounds, seek to draw the viewer in close as she uses animals as a conduct through which we might understand the patterns and rhythms of nature. Her work for the exhibition explores timeless love and the idea that “the truest love is the simplest and the one we have carried with us all along.” Zoë Williams creates needle felted wool creatures that act as spirit guides. Inspired by dreams, visions, and the collective unconscious, her unique sculptures capture the imagination and inspire the dreamer in all of us. Her work for this exhibition, Tanuki I & II, as two raccoon dogs that have a comforting presence in their impressive gilded frames. Sure to watch over any who reside below them, these skillfully made companions fulfill their task of navigating the sacred with endearing determination.
The artists participating in Wild Heart, use animals as metaphors, guides, and shining examples of what we as humans should continue to strive for in connection with nature and each other. As we approach a season of the year focused on love and affection, perhaps we can take a page from their book, adopt Wild Hearts ourselves, and let our imagination run free.
The reception is open to the public and on view until March 6th, 2017.
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Thank you to Travis and Ben of Urban Vinyl Daily for mentioning Wild Heart on their weekly show! Click here to watch the episode.
Thank you to Zach Tutor of Supersonic Art for featuring Wild Heart! Click here to read the full article.
Many thanks to Eva Glettner for featuring Wild Heart on AFAR's Weekly Insider Guide! Click here to read.