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Creepy Art Exhibition Follows the Armory Week at Booth Gallery New York

  • creepy art
March 4, 2016
Dejan Stević writes under the pseudonym of Marcus Lothar. Born and raised in Serbia he appreciates the whole ensemble of symbolic codes and emergent properties in the modern society.

Beauty is in the eye of a beholder, or so the saying goes. What about ugliness then, is ugliness in the beholder’s eyes as well? In his book, “On Ugliness”, written in the frame of his acclaimed “History of Beauty”, writer and cultural critic, Umberto Eco, is exploring the monstrous and the loathsome entwined in the discernible culture and arts. Just what is the prying inclination behind our allure to the gruesome and abominable? What gives the ignoble and vile their magnetic attraction? Eco combines his exhaustive knowledge and enrapturing storytelling to present us with his study of the Ugly, divulging that what we shun the most in everyday life is what we are most attracted to, albeit subconsciously. Pretty Creepy is the title that New York’s Booth Gallery will be giving to its group exhibition gathering works by Aaron Johnson, Balint Zsako, Barnaby Whitfield, Chris Gullander, Christian Rex van Minnen, Dawn Frasch, Irena Jurek, Jade Mac Townsend, Jennifer Caviola, Jenny Morgan, Marci Washington and Rebecca Morgan.

Creepy Art Exhibition
Left: Christian Rex van Minnen – Untitled Portrait / Right: Christian Rex van Minnen – Untitled Still Life

A Study Of Grotesque at Booth Gallery

The exhibition will be referencing Eco’s book in an attempt to “link the works to one another in a common desire to investigate the ‘cult of ugliness’ in a world where there’s nothing left to hide,” as explained by Barnaby Whitfield. With ample historical archetypes in forms of sculpture and painting spanning the period from ancient Greece to Brueghel, Boch and Goya, this provocative exhibit delves deep into concepts of depravity, darkness, aesthetics of vice, excess and picturesque ugliness. Allegorical representations and technical finesse of artists featured in this exhibition serve as a mechanism by which to supersede prevailing notions of beauty. The characters depicted are shown to us in a wide range of styles. Ranging from realistic portraits to almost caricatured apparitions, directing our focus to the faint perimeter between perception and comprehension.

Creepy Art Exhibition
Left: Barnaby Whitfield – Untitled / Right: Barnaby Whitfield – Untitled

The Artists of the Creepy Art

Aaron Johnson affronts us with fearless brushstrokes. His works are influenced by lunacy oozing from the late 19th and early 20th century in the works of Goya and Picasso. Balint Zsako produces sexually imbued works inhabited by checkered characters reaching out in surreal harmonies. His works are done in collage, painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and watercolor techniques. Chris Gullander criticizes American culture and consumer orientated society by means of social “artificial selection”. His “fables” usually begin as small events leading us to footprint their motive and arrangement. Jade Townsend is widely recognized for his enthusiastic installations combining drawing, sculpture, and large-scale constructions. He creates dimensions coupled by humor. Jade’s art asks us to find new ways of observing what we think are the standards of our, overly planned, daily life. Barnaby Whitfield creates beautifully crafted paintings, outstripping portraiture by assimilating particles of his own persona. He mainly works with pastels creating surreal and dream-like worlds. Christian Rex van Minnen, induced by his academic resurgence of still life and portrait, capers with the uncertainty of our awareness. Christian works in oil on canvas depicting transformed anatomy and dismantled faces. Dawn Frasch’s work embodies perception and disillusionment in a universe. Her paintings are intensely innate, reeling on the line between the alluring and the bizarre. Her works quote both art history and pop culture. Irena Jurek takes animals such as wolves and rabbits and then gives them humanlike forms. She is telling us that no matter how important the aesthetic is, it is not the only thing that matters, there’s always something that’s underlying. Jennifer Caviola’s paintings, as conferring through portraiture, give feminine contours sharp lines that, in an engineering sense, thrust feelings of stamina, capability and vulnerability. She finds esthetics and divine beauty in the graffiti and street art. Jenny Morgan‘s work has such severe a degree of accuracy that it demonstrates an inclination toward permanent literary connotations brought through visual metaphors. Her body of work reveals to us still developing processes of creation. Marci Washington is concerned about constructing fabricated chronologies with ties to the past as well as to the present; she paints in watercolor and gouache, comparing her works to unwritten novels. Rebecca Morgan adopts hyper-detailed naturalism, influenced by Dutch masters as, Memling, Brueghel, and Van Eyck; She also uses absurd, abhorrent caricature reminiscent of underground cartoonists like R.Crumb.

Creepy Art Exhibition
Left: Irena Jurek – Just A Phonecall Away / Right: Chris Gullander – Improv.6

Grotesqueness and Surrealism in New York

A chance for us to witness works done by these twelve amazing artists, and seek for ourselves the answers to questions posed at the beginning of this article, will be occurring on March 4th and will be lasting until March 26th, 2016 at Booth Gallery in New York.

All images courtesy of Booth Gallery