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Ecphoric Wonderland

Opening Reception:

Thursday, March 14th from 6-9pm

Gallery Hours:

Saturdays 12-5pm and by appointment

March 9, 2024 - April 6, 2024

Ecphoric Wonderland features the work of Heather Drayzen, Matt Jones, and In June Park

This exhibition deals with symbolism, spiritual values, and disorienting realities in dreamlike ways. The paintings in this exhibition stand as symbols and references to the individual who created them and to their viewer. When thinking about what “reality” is in context to painting, is one to read into the painted surface as a new, perceived reality, or can the painting as an object itself be something real? This group of painters explores visual references in a perceived reality through a literal and theoretical painted surface.

Curated by Whitson Ramsey

Heather Drayzen 

Artist Statement:

I was raised with a keen awareness of the beauty and fragility of life. In 2019 and recently in 2023, I experienced health scares--this, combined with the pandemic in 2020, cultivated an urgency to document my life, memories, and relationships.

My paintings draw upon my lived experiences, interior world, and emotions with a tender and intimate touch. I primarily paint small-scale domestic scenes in oil on canvas often featuring myself and those I cherish in quiet moments. Experiences like sharing a cup of morning coffee, grabbing a bite from the fridge, or taking a nap with the pups take place in an atmosphere of iridescent golden light, highlighting the passage of time while nodding to art historical influences including Bonnard, Vuillard, Morisot, and Munch. Jewel-like fields of day-glo color contrast with subtle neutral tones tapping into a full on sensory experience.

My work sits between figuration and abstraction, and I render descriptive elements with varying levels of information to summon a psychological energy. Each painting is a vignette within the larger narrative of my life, and when viewed together they reveal the feeling of a life lived along with a genuine emotional history.

Matt Jones

Artist Statement:

My paintings, drawings, and artist books are attuned to the overwhelming omnipresence of climate catastrophe, housing crises, and global pandemics, while attentive to the granular, sedimented, aliveness of the everyday. Gathering a visual symbology of flora and fauna, eyes and hands, ritual and household objects, as well as molecules, viruses, stones, mushrooms, seedlings, and grasses, I render filmic stills of a narrative that continues beyond the canvas, paper, and page. Storytelling is central to my practice, though the narrative is not necessarily linear. Instead, in my work, narrative is relational and dynamic, an invitation to the viewer to consider the moments just before or after the scene of the painting, to feel activated by this sense of ongoingness. This sense of fluidity is crucial to the way I work with ink and oil paint, and the way entities relate to one another in the paintings, drawings, and books. Eroding the art historical assumption of the human subject, of borders, and binaries, my work energizes the mythical—medieval illumination and dream visions, rococo art, and Jewish folklore—by looking again and again at the local—old growth forest in Inwood, the iron fences and militarized past of Bennet Park, the manicured lush gorgeousness of Fort Tryon’s Heather and Alpine Gardens, as well as the dailiness of working and living with his partner and young child.

In June Park 

Artist Statement:

If I could summarize the experience of an immigrant into one image, it would be that of teetering on a see-saw. On one end, the choice of rejection and othering, and on another, the choice of acceptance and assimilation. A perpetual balancing act. As an immigrant, I find the predisposition to find the familiar when navigating the strange and foreign as a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it speaks to our incredible capability to find comfort as means of survival. At the same time, on the other, it can hinder our ability to integrate and contribute to the local community. This is a tension that I am constantly exploring within myself and engaging with the world around me. I am interested in capturing notes of hesitance and longing for the past whilst coexisting within the same space as acceptance and the incredible ability to survive. As an artist, I am curious about further exploring the constructs that create these conditions for the immigrant and the consequential effects of these choices. My works portray these questions, visualizing them by collaging moments and bringing them into close conversations with one another. At the core, my works function as fuel for extended research into the history of immigration, as well as act as points of meditation for larger concepts like religion and family history.

I am attracted to painting as a medium for its ability to single out a subject over its existing context for interpretation and dissection. Ranging from religious icons to household items, my subjects are often drawn out of their environment to engage with other works from the series to form a collective narrative. My process begins with examining critical examples of cultural hybridity embedded in my memory. These points are projected straight onto the canvas and left in suspense as I react and excavate within it a personal narrative. I work predominantly in acrylic for my attraction to its flexibility with different mediums and its matte finish, which resembles the experiences lived by a 9-year-old Korean boy first arriving in Chile.

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