You don’t have to dig very deep to find a well of meaning in the works that make up sculptor Al Farrow’s new exhibit Wrath & Reverence, currently up at Forum Gallery in Midtown. In perhaps the most unique and profoundly thought provoking exhibit we’ve see in recent years, Wrath & Reverence consists of churches, synagogues, mosques, a mausoleum, Jewish ritual objects and Christian ‘casket’ reliquaries, all rendered from munitions. It brings the phrase ‘Holy War’ into an entirely new reality.
The buildings are highly detailed and faithful to reality in terms of proportion and architectural design.
One monumental sculpture, Bombed Mosque, took the artist a year to create in his California studio, using more than 50,000 disarmed bullets and shell casings. The patterns and decorations formed from patinated and polished bullets adorn the structure in hauntingly accurate turquoise and gold; but one side of the massive dome is blown open, bombed in fact, speaking to the deep chasm between religious sects.
A Menorah, crafted from barbed wire and machine gun shells, is clearly layered with meaning and reference, but is an object of great reverence as well, attuned to past and present while statuesque and compelling in its presence.
Farrow makes art not about a certain religion, but about the repetition of history, the inexorable battle of mankind, and the perversion of organized religion as a whole.
Sacred and profane, metaphoric and literal, gleaming and shocking, Al Farrow’s Wrath & Reverence is unforgettable and deeply moving.
This exhibit marks my first visit to the Forum Gallery, a legendary space that I was turned on to after being highly impressed with their various exhibits at this years Metro Curates Art Fair.
The room is gorgeous and the people who work in the gallery are very nice and friendly, which can be a rare thing these days. I will definitely be visiting them again, and covering more shows at Forum in the future. For now, make sure you don’t miss Al Farrow’s Wrath and Reverence, which is just fantastic.
Wrath and Reverence, the Art of Al Farrow will be on Exhibit Through May 2nd, 2015 at Forum Gallery, Located at 730Fifth Avenue (at 57th Street), NYC.