LA MAMA’S NOBLES & SAVAGES
By Naomi Barling
La Mama Galleria has joined forces with Rare Gallery to present their new exhibition Nobles & Savages. The work the thought-provoking show explores the artists’ interpretation of the honorable side of humanity, as well as expressing the darker side that often complicates and obstructs our better judgments. This group exhibition will be featuring works by three artists represented by Rare: Johnston Foster, Dionisios Fragias, and Eamon O’Kane.
Johnston Foster creates interesting hand crafted sculptures, which are made out of discarded materials he finds strewn across highways or tossed into dumpsters. His work challenges the idea of survival by getting the viewers to see how essential materials in nature can be transformed to support human existence. Foster’s mutated, and distorted sculptures serve as a warning: what could become of us if we lose all respect for our environment?
Dionisios Fragias’ work combines cultural, social, and political iconography from different eras of human history. For example; biblical, ancient greek, modern and pop culture. His work touches upon the idea that humans have a dangerous tendency to create and destruct, and he specifically focuses on how today’s world is constantly looking for technological advancement. His multimedia pieces are created by combining oil paintings on top of cut metal wall reliefs. This is often contrasted with elements of historical references to show how thoughtful observations of our past can help societies to live more harmoniously with nature.
Eamon O’Kane’s fascination with modernist architecture, design, and art started from a young age when living in Ireland (in the ancestral home of the 11th US President James K. Polk). His work investigates man’s humble attempts to live seamlessly within his natural surroundings. In O’Kane’s paintings, drawings, prints, videos, sculptures, and installations, modernism becomes the vehicle for him to explore consequences of human achievement.
The works exhibited by O’Kane, Dionisios Fragias’ and Eamon O’Kane express a bleak reminder of the utopia that modernism once promised, but because fundamentally impossible, was never achieved.
Nobles & Savages opens at La Galleria’s new space at 47 Great Jones Street in New York, April 09, 2015.