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  • Merry Karnowsky Gallery
  • Merry Karnowsky Gallery
  • Merry Karnowsky Gallery
  • Merry Karnowsky Gallery
  • Merry Karnowsky Gallery

Good Night Good Knight

May 27, 2014
Asja Nastasijevic is an Art Historian with the major in Modern Art. She's involved in art writing and criticism for several years now. Art is her passion and writing about it is both work and pleasure. Among modern art movements she loves Fauvism, Abstract Expressionism, and POP ART and her favorite artists are Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol. She fell in love with Street Art when she first saw ROA’s Sleepy Pigs in Brussels few years ago. Since then, she devotedly explores this form of artistic expression. She hates when someone asks her whether the street art is a real art. What makes any art a real art? Art is an evolutionary act with constant changes in its performance. In Asja’s opinion, the real art is what you want to hang on the walls of your living room, as simple as that. So she wants to hang the works of Ron English, Gaia and ROA above her TV cabinet or to place the artworks of Mark Jenkins and Isaac Cordal next to her sofa. She enjoys bowling and doodling.

Creation begins with imagination. And only children’s imagination can conceive completely different meaning to the conventional expression of farewell when going to sleep and take it as absolutely acceptable. Why would not “Good night” mean “Good Knight”? It sounds exactly the same. In the latest series of paintings, Greg Craola Simkins revisits the fears and curiosities of childhood, dragging them from dreamland into reality. The origins of his current solo exhibition at Merry Karnowsky Gallery lie in the age-old ritual of parents putting their children to sleep.

Greg Craola SImkins
Good Knight at MK Gallery

Who is this Good Knight?

Simkins explains: “As a child, each evening my parents would utter the common refrain of ‘Good night’, just as any decent mom or dad should do. ‘Good night’ would echo through my ears as my eyes shut and I slipped through the tunnel into dreamland, leaving me with one question: Who’s that? What is this crazy world, who are all the creatures that live here and who is this Good Knight?”

Greg Craola SImkins
Good Knight at MK Gallery

Kingdom of Chimeras

Simkins uses the character of the ‘Good Knight’ as a point of departure into a world worthy of Lewis Carroll, shaped by years watching Saturday-morning cartoons and countless hours lost in story-books. His paintings feature various animal and object hybrids, with different entities melding into each other. Through this process Simkins creates whole kingdoms of chimeras; some friendly and others not so much.

Greg Craola SImkins
Good Knight at MK Gallery

Dreams and Nightmares

Simkins’ childhood logic dictated that “If there’s a Good Knight, there must be a bad one as well”. To balance this dualistic realm of dreams and nightmares, the exhibitions also features a cast of heroes, coming to life in warped and wondrous ways. These include the Rhinoceros ‘Court Guard’ and refined ‘Court Hare’, who wear fine ruffled collars and bear ceremonial staffs and symbols. Simkins’ good characters appear somewhat naïve; good ‘fools’ lost in a universe abounding with guile and ill intent.

Greg Craola SImkins
Good Knight at MK Gallery

Places to Escape

Simkins’ works prove that an imagination is a double-edged sword. It can take us to both beautiful and terrifying places. But despite the dualism, Simkins finds these worlds valuable as places to escape to and to find distance from everyday distractions and the noise of the modern world.

Greg Craola SImkins
Good Knight at MK Gallery

About Merry Karnowsky Gallery

The Merry Karnowsky Gallery is home to several of the most significant artists working today. Founded in 1997 by Merry Karnowsky, the gallery has had a central focus for over a decade; championing emerging and mid-career artists who push beyond the boundaries of formal definition. The Gallery is devoted to exhibiting contemporary works of art that are challenging, innovative and committed to fostering new directions in American art.

Greg Craola SImkins
Good Knight at MK Gallery

Photo credit: The1point8