THE MACABRE SHOW: Craig LaRotonda, Myron Conan Dyal, Scott Holloway, Mavis Leahy, Miso, Jasmine Worth, Steven Daily and Gail Potocki
October 5 – 28, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5th, 8-11 pm
Steven Daily “Melchizedek”
This series is based on growing up in a spiritual home, yet being attracted to the macabre. The dark things in life the mystic, the odd, the esoteric. The images in this series are based on supernatural stories from the Book of Enoch, Old and New Testament. This is how I’ve visualized them as an adolescent until now. I always found the stories in the bible to be so surreal, the imagery to be so vivid and descriptive, borderlining the macabre. Yet through all the pain, suffering, and evil, there was always a glimpse of light. I wanted to explore this idea through hard armor and sharp weapons, and the softness of ruffles, pearls and light.
Steven James Daily incorporates the wonder of new vision with the transformative detail of a mature mind. His journey has allowed him to witness key elements in the American artistic landscape and to have stood shoulder to shoulder with both the brutal and the benign. Born in Southern California in 1973, Mr. Daily’s career in the visual arts was placed on a set of polyurethane wheels and given the neon-baked smog-scape to stoke the initial fire of creativity. Mr. Daily later relocated to the southern United States where his imagination was given free reign to explore the dilapidated corners of the American Dream. Busted rail spurs lead to careful consideration of brushwork and technique. Abandoned houses become the locus for the energy of old masters, who create fervor, for that which is ancient and useful. Ghosts spill from the eyes of Mr. Daily and suffuse canvases and physical forms with a style that is simultaneously mature and provocative, yet providing a glimpse into a spidery, parallel world where hearts beat backwards as Rembrandt meets entropy under a magenta moon.
Mr. Daily has painted a ribbon of bows and a track of scars across the North American continent, working with thousands of interesting human beings in the process. Some of the astonishing entities who have withstood the physical presence of our intrepid explorer of dreams and nightmares include Disney, Lucas Arts, Sony, Dark Horse Comics, Slave Labor Graphics and HBO. All those who retain the steady hand and fine line of Steven James Daily for purposes related to commerce or art find as much satisfaction in the result as Mr. Daily does in the craft. Every piece stave’s off decay while adding new layers to the compost of culture, creating updrafts of creativity that reach far beyond the space in which you view the art. A broad landscape of modern culture and the wreckage of the ghosts of history; this is what the eyes of Steven James Daily have seen and this is what his works reflect.
Myron Conan Dyal “Equinox”
In Myron Dyal’s recent retrospective at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, the most important art critic in the Midwest had the following to say:”Myron Conan Dyal is rivaled only by Richard Serra in the contest for the greatest living sculptor.”
Certainly those who have seen his works in person find it impossible to be ambivalent about it. Some find his life-sizes sculptures of paper-mache and acrylic paint to be festive reminders of Carnivale, while other are absolutely horrified and experience an oppressive claustrophobia in their presence. To those of us who know Myron, it’s impossible to find anything but a warm presence of goddess energy in his often vibrant figures.
Craig LaRotonda “Rise of the Robosapiens”
In Rise of The Robosapiens, artist Craig LaRotonda reveals a vision of the future where the evolution of humanity has resulted in a new version of man — an amalgamation of flesh and machinery. These are the Robosapiens. In this dark and unnerving environment, mankind suffers in a world of ominous mystery. Though technologically advanced, man struggles with existence while he continues his search for a higher consciousness and enlightenment.
LaRotonda’s richly layered paintings are provocative; his signature iconic style is reminiscent of Renaissance and Byzantine art, while at the same time remaining boldly contemporary. His surreal figurative work possesses a dark narrative and grotesque elegance. These distorted creatures are captured in a timeless space, surviving the brutality and beauty of existence. Craig’s ability to make deformities and oddities so aesthetically magnificent is what makes his art so unique.
Craig’s artwork graces the walls of famous homes including collectors in France, Germany, Norway, Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Through his relationship with Film Art LA, his acclaimed art appears prominently in television and five feature-length motion pictures, including the Academy Award winning film “Traffic,” directed by Steven Soderbergh.
LaRotonda’s striking and unique work has been featured in Time Magazine, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, The Progressive, Fangoria Magazine, The New York Times, Catapult Magazine, and numerous other publications. His work has received awards from the Society of Illustrators (in New York and Los Angeles), Communication Arts and Print Magazine.
Exhibitions include solo shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Paris.
Scott Holloway “Janus”
Scott Holloway fuses medieval medical text with biblical icon paintings to create images of great reverence for both death and spirituality. This dichotomy is the subject of his latest show, Janus. His four years at Montserrat College of Art placed him in close proximity to the Gallows Hill of Olde Salem, Mass where the witch hysteria of the late 17th century is still a topic of institutional controversy. More macabre than outright gothic, the power of anatomical illustration is rarely in better hands.
Mavis Leahy “Rest in Peaceful Slumber”
Mavis Leahy works in mixed media textile collage. Her quilted creations have been featured in Country Living magazine and she’s written numerous articles on beading and other techniques. Her artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. Her inclusion in The Macabre Show should officially change her status as the best kept secret in the San Fernando Valley. The exquisite detail found in vintage linens, laces and wools is matched and expanded to reflect the many rich cultures of her native Los Angeles. Bones, ceramic, jewels and metal also find their way into her patchwork paradise instilling a forlorn nostalgia for funerary craft art of the Victorian age. The result? Dolls, ornaments and alters that could very well pass for undead.
A continuance of her sold out 2011 exhibition, An Introduction to Pathology, which dissected the creatures of her Miso world, Birth is an exploration of mutation, defect, and the agony of imperfect existence. In a universe that challenges every newborn, mutation is necessity, and imperfection is survival. These specimens are presented in micro portraiture, oft with Byzantine frames or against crushed velvet, wood or gold foil.
Gail Potocki “Unkept and Whispered”
Gail Potocki, perhaps the premiere symbolist painter of the contemporary era, debuts a single new work as part of our Macabre Show. That work is a triptych titled, “Unkept and Whispered,” and like the oeuvre that precedes it is an oil on linen painting in a handmade frame.
A chain of dire events have been set into motion by this woman. This action she regrets remains secret through the silenced bird sentinels at her sides. The inevitable outcome is kept at bay by the banishing spell that is broken when the panels are separated.
Jasmine Worth “Dark Mother”
Jasmine Worth’s latest collection is titled Dark Mother. In this series she’s focused on the conflicted imagery of woman as both holy mother and originator of sin. Embracing the Pagan roots of the Goddess Mother image, as well as the iconography of other religions, she seeks to unify the diverse depictions of the divine mother into one entity. In these works she reunites the image of the divine mother into a whole, encompassing both aspects of the dichotomy that has torn her in to an object of both reverence and fear.
Jasmine Worth crafts scenes from fairy tales gone awry, swirling seamlessly between the sweet and surreal, and inevitably dipping into the valley of the morbid. She studied formally at Watts Atelier as well as Studio 2nd Street in Encinitas, CA, and earned her BFA from the Laguna College of Art and Design. While she possesses the credentials, the product of her toil clearly pours from the cobwebbed corners of her mind, not the classroom. Her paintings, a cabaret of vibrant hues, are a blend of soft textures and colorful characters, juxtaposed against gloomy themes. Created in her home of San Diego, Jasmine combines dark influences and subtle, yet serious undertones with raw artistic talent and a rarely seen creativity. Her work exudes a strong bearing of individuality, manifested through characters that speak almost vocally and give a new element of depth to an otherwise two dimensional medium. Each scene tells a story and every story is as diverse in emotion as it is in appearance.