Howard Griffin Gallery has joined the thriving London urban art scene for a little over a year ago, with one of the freshest approaches to exhibiting, emphasized by the pertinent selection of exhibiting artists. Following the tradition started with the fantastic installation of Phlegm’s Bestiary at the beginning of the year, Howard Griffin transformed the gallery space into a surreal setting once again. This time, the phantasmagoric visions of RUN were allowed to develop in a comprehensive show entitled suggestively Parabola di G. The exhibition opened on November 27 with the artist in attendance and a great turnout as well. In the photographs we bring here we try to bring closer a bit of the atmosphere from the opening.
Entering the gallery space dressed in imaginative drawings of Giacomo Bufarini RUN immediately takes the visitor in a different world, a parallel dimension where the stories of the one known as G linger. The walls of the space are covered in intertwined limbs in motion, symbolic gestures and bald heads mingling in the nostalgic simulacrum. G, the main character, whose features the visitor can recognize instantly, has fallen through levels of reality into an oneiric landscape, looking for his true destiny. On the way, the viewer travels along with him, crossing oceans and mountains, encountering mythical creatures, strange characters, while being watched by ominous eyes and eerie masks. Conjured by the artist, the semi-fictional G (probably inspired by the artist himself) is born out of a wreckage of a comet, from where he embarks on his inquisitive journey. He owns a hat of imagination, which enables him to shapeshift at will, in the continues search for his purpose. Presented as a metaphorical alternative to the inevitable materiality of modern life, the Parabola of G is not only a moral, it’s a picture book for grown ups, taking us back into the innocence we all once had, in order to remind us of the truly important things in life.
Once the viewer is snapped from the immersive world of overlapping moments from G’s adventures, he’ll notice how the vitalized walls are in fact a set for a selection of drawings. Deeply influenced by the symbolism and the dynamics of Homer’s Odyssey, the collection of drawings serves as the core thread of the narrative, sheltered by the sculptural installation. A teepee-like figure in the middle provides a somewhat of a outdoor landscape experience, as all the tactility and cut-outs make the entire work three-dimensional, and thus more experientially appealing. All of his characters seem to be a benevolent take on the Neue Sachlichkeit, mixed with the contemporary eclecticism, while founded in the conceptual domain of the surreal. Behind the imagination of RUN, his skillfulness as a draughtsman is hiding, showing just in the glimpses of wonderfully depicted detail. His line is dainty, shadow scarce and thin, creating an airy feel for the surreal scenes he makes. The expressions of his G and other animal-like characters carry the emotional weight of the show, where the visitor feels strangely comfortable among all those good-willed beings, cohabiting in an unknown environment.
RUN’s Parabola di G is currently on view at Howard Griffin Gallery in Shoreditch, where it will remain installed through December 21, 2014. Among all the art fair happenings in Florida, the December shopping craze and other moments, this show is definitely a must-see, as one of the best exhibitional solutions of the month.
Read more about the exhibitions at Howard Griffin in our articles about Thierry Noir Retrospective, Pablo Delgado's understanding of small, a story of a Man and a Dog, or a different Underground photography.
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