Israel-born artist Nir Hod’s current exhibit at Paul Kasmin Gallery manages to be both visually beautiful and subtly political — a combination that this painter/sculptor does very well.
Once Everything Was Much Better Even The Future features Hod’s monumental sculptural work of the same name, a snow globe containing a moving scale model of a pumpjack encased in oil and swirling “snow” comprised of gold-colored flakes, a reflection of the immense wealth generated by the oil trade.
Hod’s globe encompasses an idealized, isolated landscape of oil extraction in which production and consumption can peacefully coexist. When I was growing up in California in the 1960s and ’70s, these oil pumps were all over the place, so this piece inspired a great feeling of nostalgia for me.
Characteristic of Hod’s work is a dark glamour that is both alluring and menacing, exemplified in his three new series of paintings. In I Want Always to be Remembered in Your Heart, smoldering flames are superimposed on delicate flowers, alluding to the paradoxical coexistence of beauty and destruction.
Through a chroming process he transforms matte canvases into reflective, mirrored surfaces in the series All We Wish For, Let it Be and The Back Room.
In All We Wish For, Let it Be, the artist renders ethereal clouds and shattered glass, alluding to a cycle of destruction and rebirth.
The Back Room presents contrasting black and white scratches upon chrome surfaces emanating light. Both works underline the artist’s pursuit of the sublime as a place of pleasurable fear and forbidden desire.
The Worley Gig Highly Recommends This Exhibit.
Nir Hod’s Once Everything Was Much Better Even The Future will be on Exhibit Through October 25th at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 West 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.