A Paracosm is a detailed imaginary world created inside one’s mind. Such a fantasy world may involve humans, animals and things that exist in reality, or it may also contain entities that are entirely imaginary, alien and otherworldly. Commonly having its own geography, history and languages, the experience of such a parascosm is often developed during childhood and continues over a long period of time: months or even years.
Paracosms are also made reference to as types of childhood creativity and problem-solving. Some believe that paracosm play indicates high intelligence. In his installation entitled Midnight Paracosm, Tennessee-based artist Matthew Dutton is creating his own world of creative play. And if you are already familiar with Dutton’s delightfully disturbing found object sculptures, you will understand that this tableau represents exactly what is going on in his mind most of the time.
Taxidermy Deer with Santa Mask and Wig/Beard
My Absolute Favorite: Hula Baby in a Birdcage with Blonde Fall
“I didn’t even know he was sick” sounds like the punchline to a joke, but I think it’s what we are all saying when we find ourselves speaking of David Bowie in the past tense. Because, how could he be gone? Bowie’s profoundly shocking death in January of this year still does not seem real. In the spirit of continuing to celebrate David Bowie’s life and music while extending a sense of comfort and community to the bereaved, gallerist Stephen Romano has mounted a David Bowie Tribute Exhibit, Saint Bowie, and it was well worth the trip to Bushwick to check it out.
Romano describes the show as, “An exhibition of artist made reliquaries, ex votos, Santos, sigils, altars, ephods, spirit photos and much more objects dedicated to communing with Bowie on the other side.” The majority of the works in this show were created specifically for the exhibition, with participating artists including: Dolorosa De La Cruz, Barry William Hale, Tine Kinderman, Linnea Strid, Caitlin McCormack, Lori Field, Natan Alexander, Rene Pierre Allain, Colin Christian + Sas Christian, Nyahzul Blanco, Lauren Levato Coyne, Lizz Lopez, Rory Coyne, Inge Vandormael, Travis Lawrence, Chris Haas, Erin O’Shea, Ellen Stagg, Donnie Green, Matt Nolen, David Van Gough, Kim Bo Yung, Alexis Murray, Nyugen Smith, and Craig LaRotonda.
As we have come to expect from a Stephen Romano Joint, the exhibit’s opening reception was a fun party where Bowie fans could drink free wine and hang out among friends while enjoying the beautiful and very moving art. David Bowie Bikini Girls were also on hand to add to the celebratory atmosphere in the gallery. Please enjoy a few of our photos from the evening!
Natan Alexander, Everybody Knows Me Now (2016), Illuminated Glass and Mixed Media.
The piece above was perhaps the most talked about contribution to the show. You just could not stop looking at it.
David Van Gough, Starcophagus (2016)
Lori Field, Heathen
Lori Field, one of our favorite artists that we discovered through the Romano Gallery, contributed two fantastic pieces, both done in her inimitable and highly recognizable style.
Lori Field, China Girl
Lizz Lopez, Bowie Ouija Board (Above) and Planchette Detail
Linnea Strid, Sunken Dream (2016) Ink Transfer on Wax Candle
I’m quite sure that I saw this one get set alight at the reception, so hopefully it’s available in a multiple edition in case someone wants to purchase!
Tine Kindermann, Haitian Style Voodoo Bowie Floating In A Tin Can
Dolorosa De La Cruz, Now I Leave Them All In The Never Never Land
Inge Vandormael, Lazarus and Detail, Below
While there was a good selection of artworks featuring very classic Bowie personas that we know from his early career, many artists also drew inspiration from Bowie’s most recent album, Blackstar; specifically the song “Lazarus” and its accompanying video.
Buddy Nestor, We Are Made of Stars (2016)
I can’t even watch the Lazarus video because it is way too creepy.
Erin O’Shea, He Fell On Diamond Days (2016) Digital Fabric Print and Soft Sculpture
Rory Coyne, Rebis
Here’s a fun piece that also incorporates a bittersweet tribute to the late Freddie Mercury.
Craig LaRotonda, Major Tom’s All Time Low
This piece by Craig LaRotonda conveys such beautiful delicacy, and I love the title.
Nyahzul Blanco, Starman (2016) Photomontage on Aluminum
All gallery proceeds from sales of exhibition works will be donated to support Shadia Dot Org, an American organization which works toward breaking the cycle of poverty, gender inequality and education, empowering and trying to give economic self-sufficiency to girls – help them avoid early marriage, being forced into prostitution, or being trafficked.
Saint Bowie will be on Exhibit Through March 29th, 2016 at Stephen Romano Gallery, Located on the Southeast Corner of Harrison Place and Porter in Bushwick Brooklyn. Take the L Train to the Morgan Exit and Walk a few Blocks East on Harrison to Porter Avenue. There’s a Vietnamese Restaurant Across the Street.
Save the Date: Stephen Romano Gallery is very honored to be presenting the group exhibition Saint Bowie, opening March 2, 2016, with a reception from 5 – 9 PM. Saint Bowie will be comprised of artist-made devotional mementos, Ex Votos, Santos, Spirit Photos and other reliquaries which mourn the loss of the Starman, and also serve as a means by which to commune with Bowie on the other side.
Saint Bowie will feature art by some of our very favorite artists including Sas and Colin Christian, Nyazhul Blanco and Lori Field, among many others, listed below.
Barry William Hale, Pomba Gira Sigill Vinyl Wall Installation, 2015 (All Photos By Gail)
The only art gallery that consistently draws us from Manhattan all the way to Brooklyn, the Stephen Romano Gallery, has reopened at its new location in the heart of Bushwick, Brooklyn’s thriving local art scene — very exciting! The gallery’s inaugural group show, Lexicon Infernali, reunites many of the cutting-edge contemporary artists we’ve come to know and love from Romano’s always intriguing exhibits over the course of 2015, while offering up an assortment of welcome surprises.
Here are a few of our favorite pieces from the show!
Art By Hunter Stabler: L- Garmr (2015) , hand-cut paper mounted to plexiglass Edition of 3; R – Baba Yaga Misquotes The Face To Steeleye Span, laser-cut paper mounted to plexiglass, Edition of 24
2 Watercolor Triptychs by El Gato Chimney: Top – The Right Way; Bottom – The Good Proportion
Limor Gasko, Sheep Head
Elizabeth Shupe, The Great Weight of The Soul (Mixed Media)
Elizabeth Shupe Green Ophelia (2014), Laser-sintered Nylon 3D Print, with Mixed media in a plexiglass case
Green Ophelia Detail
Elizabeth Shupe, Beautiful Creature (1 of a Triptych)
Rob Bowen, Pink – Pollination
Caitlin McCormack, Long Stands a Rapture (Diptych) Crocheted Cotton String
Matthew Dutton, The White Owl Shaman
Art By Shawn Thornton: L – Brahmastra for A New Age (UFO/Time Machine); R – Black Pyramid Meditation
Brahmastra for A New Age (Detail)
Left: Photo By William Mortenson. Right: Art By Stephanie Lucas, Top- Equation de Plumes, Bottom – Welcome
Detail from Equation de Plumes
The Bride by Lori Field
Eric Richardson, Coronation
GiGi Chen, What She Sees (This Image Courtesy of Stephen Romano)
Art By David Molesky: L –Rusalka; R- Acteon
Stephen Roman Gallery is located at 177 Gartan Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn, but the actual location is the corner of Harrison Place and Porter Avenue (don’t ask). Best train directions are to take the L to Morgan Ave, then walk three blocks east on Harrison to Porter and you can’t miss it. Go to This Link for a map.
My Black Heart By El Gato Chimney (All Photos By Gail. Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)
El Gato Chimney is a fantastic, Milan-based surrealist whose compelling work I doubt I would have come to know and love so well if it weren’t for the Stephen Romano Gallery, which has lovingly featured El Gato’s work in each of their eclectic group shows.
Lost in Thoughts
Currently, the Romano Gallery is hosting De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things), a show dedicated entirely to this young artist’s exciting work.
The artwork of De Rerum Natura is accompanied by a high quality catalog, which includes several intriguing and extremely insightful essays, one of which is by fellow surrealist Martin Wittfooth. By way of introduction to El Gato Chimney’s enigmatic images, I offer a brief but richly descriptive passage from Martin’s essay:
El Gato Chimney’s paintings are a kind of visual alchemy: a unique witch’s brew or shaman’s potion of mysticism, therianthropy (the mythological ability of human beings to metamorphose into animals by means of shapeshifting), mythological and religious symbolism, and visionary fractals.
These works echo the technique and compositions of the naturalist painter John James Audubon, while envisioning a psychedelic menagerie summoned on paper from the often-diabolical nether realms of Hieronymus Bosch. Crowned hydras, chimeras, masked birds and crucified crows inhabit a barren world, wherein sacred hearts, disembodied eyes, mysticist dice, skeleton keys and beehives float above or lie upon the landscape.
El Gato Chimney’s imagination implores us to contemplate our collective symbolical archive, while simultaneously offering alternative allegories and personal readings of these devices.
Here are more pictures from the show!
The Right Proportion (Left), Guide Me Home (Right)
At the Opening Reception: El Gato and Writer/Curator Pam Grossman Admire and Discuss The Charlatan
El Gato Chimney’s De Rerum Natura will be on Exhibit Through April 30th, 2015 at Stephen Romano Gallery, Located at 111 Front Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Please note that this will be the final snow at this location before Stephen Romano moves to its new, storefront Gallery space at 145 Plymouth Street in Brooklyn!
Show Catalog Featuring Cover Illustration of Speak the Truth
For the moderately-sized art fair that it is, no one could accuse the Metro Curates show, which ran from January 21st to 25that the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street, of a lack of diversity or ambition.
An annual event now in its fourth year, Metro Curates brought together a dynamic and cerebrally stimulating array of periods, genres and styles from folk art to antiques and collectibles to pop and outsider art from across the country. Socially, it was a great place to see and be seen, and to schmooze with your artist and collector pals, but it was also an excellent outlet to gain exposure to facets of the art world that may be outside of your comfort zone. At any rate, this Art fair was a lot of fun!
Here are some photos of our favorite cool pieces from the show!
Matthew Dutton, Expecting at the Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn
Lilly Fenechel Untitled, at David Richard Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Robert Buratti, The Death Card (Arcana)
Murano Slag Glass Circa 1970
Pair of 1920s Carousel Mirrors, American Garage, Los Angeles, CA
Metal Store Display: Safety Pin, Circa 1930s, American Garage, LA, CA
Howard Jones, Pink Bulb, American Primitive Gallery, NYC
Shoe Sculpture, American Primitive Gallery, NYC
Bill Rauhauser, The Wild, Hill Gallery, Birmingham, MI
Judicator Cap, Nigerian, Glass Beads, Douglas Dawson Gallery, Chicago