...sparking a resonance with the subjects that transcends the surface and promotes a recognition of self
The third iteration of The CAMP Gallery’s annual monochromatic exhibition Μονόχρωμος (Monokhromos), entitled Seeing Beyond Color, once again relies on the clarity brought forth by the stripping away of color and ornamentation. The exhibition creates an intended space devoid of superficial appeal as a means of providing the viewer the space to see beyond what may normally catch, or distract, the eye--sparking a resonance with the subjects that transcends the surface and promotes a recognition of self that is based on an intimacy with Essence, as it exists within all living things.
Portuguese artist Gustavo Fernandes’ works are painted snapshots of the living, breathing life force present within us all. Whether the portraits are based on models that sat before him, or characters he’s dreamed up in his mind, what’s clear is that he has an undeniable understanding of and relationship to what it feels like to be alive. As he admits, he imbues his figures with as much emotional charge as they’ll allow, elevating them to “intuitive places of expression.” These heavily charged figures, muted and stripped of bias, present themselves as embodiments of joy, sadness, confusion, expectation, desire...and the more you look at them the more you feel you are looking at yourself. With the goat as his muse, Italian photographer Giacomo Gianneli uses his lens to visually enshrine the moments where the distance between man and animal is closed, and all that’s left is a feeling of vulnerability - “am I looking at it, or is it looking at me?” There is slight panic in the goat’s eyes as they make contact with the camera and realize they’ve been seen. This fear plays on every living being’s primal concern for safety, and the subtle confrontation with mortality Gianneli offers the viewer humbles him as he acknowledges the truth that though evolution has favored him greatly, there is essentially very little difference between him and a goat.
Lithuanian artist ASPENCROW completely demolishes the hierarchy between man and animal with his sculpture Polar Kid. The work silently, and with a calm acceptance, exists in a space that understands that all living things are merely products of evolution, that our agency in the grand scheme of things is quite limited. The same resignation of control can be felt in Polish artist Małgorzata Jabłońska’s felt sculpture of her body. Standing almost like an Egyptian sarcophagus, the work presents the human figure as the vehicle through which life is lived, suggesting a higher reality with which we are all implicitly connected to. Harry Skeggs’ work presents us with beings that exist in seamless communion with nature. The lions exude a power and groundedness that can only be attributed to the surrendering of control and the subsequent freedom that comes from accepting the role you play in life, and desiring nothing more. Finally, photographer Alice de Kruijs’ work brings us back to a space where we can make the choice to move forward with the awareness of our shared essence at the forefront, as does the figure in Black and White 1, or push it aside and allow ourselves to be seduced by color.
Statement by Brianna Luz Fernandez
Curated by Brianna Luz Fernandez