Tag Archive | Joseph Grazi

Joseph Gross Gallery Presents Cecil: A Love Story By Joseph Grazi

Mufasa By Joseph Grazi
Mufasa By Joseph Grazi: Taxidermy Bats, Dried Butterflies and Stone Sculpture on Wood Mounted in Plexiglass (All Photos By Gail)

Writing this rad blog has been an excellent way to discover and start to follow the careers of many cool and talented local artists, one of whom is Joseph Grazi, who creates fresh artworks by mixing taxidermy with classic statuary, juxtaposed with pristine colored pencil and graphite renderings, and giving the result a slight twist in perspective. Joseph Gross Gallery is currently hosting Cecil: A Love Story, Grazi’s latest body of work, which is a multimedia exhibition that examines the public’s erratic moral compass in the wake of highly publicized tragedies.

Cecil a Love Story

On August 15, 2015 the world learned through a flurry of rage posts populating social media newsfeeds that the (until then widely unknown) Zimbabwean icon Cecil the Lion had been killed by a trophy hunter. The hunter responsible, a white, privileged dentist named Walter Palmer, had become the most hated man on the planet overnight.

Cecil Large Installation

Cecil: A Love Story scrutinizes the public’s alarmingly inconsistent morals, particularly in relation to animals. Through various media, Grazi creates a dialogue surrounding how we perceive and process atrocities committed against human beings versus those against animals.

Panthera Repax
Panthera Repax

Why did killing of Cecil the Lion by Walter Palmer make frontpage news over a terrorist attack that happened in the same week? Why did Jimmy Kimmel cry over the death of Cecil, but not after 200 Nigerian girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram?

Panthera Nobla
Panthera Nobla

Having worked with lions in Africa for a period of time, the artist brings an informed perspective to the exhibition that contrasts the suburban American mentality surrounding wildlife. Wildlife, the artist argues, is a human construction. People say “don’t play God,” but rather, he states, “we already are God.” The wilds are only wild because humans allow it to exist.

False Prophet 1
False Prophet 1 (left) Installation Detail

Further, Joseph Grazi investigates what it is specifically about lions that has infatuated humans throughout history. A timeless tradition and continuous obsession, with imagery carved into ancient churches to the modern suburban home – the exhibition begs the question “why are lions so special?” It dives deep into our
collective consciousness to discover why Cecil, of all creatures and all lions, was deemed so extraordinary.

Panthera Regal
Panthera Regal

Joseph Grazi and Lynzy Blair
Artist Joseph Grazi with Joseph Gross Gallery Director, Lynzy Blair, at the Exhibit’s Opening Reception

Panthera Aesthetica
Panthera Aesthetica

Cecil: A Love Story By Joseph Grazi will be on Exhibit Through October 31st, 2016 at Joseph Gross Gallery, located at 548 W 28th St, Ground Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

False Prophet
False Prophet 2

Advertisements

Yes, It Exists: Pentagram Hedge

Pentagram Hedge
Photo By Gail

If you’re paying attention here, then you might recognize the above Pentagram Hedge as a work by artist Joseph Grazi, from his exhibit, God Complex, which we reviewed here on The Gig last month. But the Pentagram Hedge is such a marvelous thing, that it deserves an encore appearance. Because, Pentagram Hedge.

Joseph Grazi’s God Complex at Joseph Gross Gallery

Skull Drawing
All Photos By Gail

If you love Skulls and Taxidermy Bats as much as I do, you will flip out over NYC-based artist Joseph Grazi’s new collection of sculptures and drawings, God Complex, up for just three short weeks at Joseph Gross Gallery. Seriously, it is pretty awesome.

Pentagram Hedge Maze
Pentagram Hedge Maze Sculpture. Yes, I just typed that.

According to the shows official press release, these artworks, “illustrate man’s increasing dominion over the natural world. With the human brain being the most complex structure existing in the known universe, we have been given the ability to manipulate the environment as we please and, ultimately, bend nature itself to our insatiable needs.” I can’t say that I disagree with that statement.

Bats Lion Head
Lions Head Sculpture with Bats and Butterflies

As Grazi frequently points out, “nature has been tamed and the animals that once posed threats to us are now predominantly under control. In addition, we can rearrange and re-engineer our bodies, create new species, and explore other planets. This capacity, along with the eradication of our former enemies and fears, can have a subconscious calming effect.”

Skull Blue Butterflies

Grazi’s new work revolves around the often inconsistent and irrational relationship that we have developed with nature over time, and how are new technologies have begun to give us godlike dominion over the planet and its animal inhabitants. It is through the realizations of these new powers that the artist hopes to lead to a more aware and responsible approach to managing and maintaining the kingdom of Earth.

Butterlfy

Skull with Bats

Joseph was present at last week’s opening reception and, let me tell you, he is not only extremely easy on the eyes, but also could not possibly have been nicer to Geoffrey and me as we chewed his ear of about how rad his art is. I asked Joseph where he gets the bats he uses in his sculptures, and I think he said he gets them from various taxidermist sources, but who knows. He is so hot, it was hard for me to pay attention to what he was saying. Just kidding. Sort of. Not really.

Pink with Deer Skull

Joseph Grazi’s God Complex will be on Exhibit Through May 2nd, 2015 at Joseph Gross Gallery, Located at 548 West 28th Street, Suite 232, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

God Complex Signage