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Josh Keyes, Doze Green, & Saelee Oh Preview

Written by Trippe   
Wednesday, 13 January 2010 05:05
3 great solo shows open this Saturday Jan 16th in NYC at Jonathan Levine. If you're out that way, be sure to swing by. If you're in NYC this Saturday (Jan 16th) be sure to swing by Jonathan Levine Gallery (529 West 20th Street, 9E) for these 3 great solo shows.

Josh Keyes - Fragment

Saelee Oh - Infinite Roots

Doze Green - New works in the Project Room

Below is a small taste of what you can expect from these shows.

Josh Keyes

Fragment, a solo exhibition of new works by Josh Keyes. In what will be the artist's first solo exhibition at the gallery, Keyes continues to expand upon his signature aesthetic. Rendered in clean, controlled and finely detailed realism, the paintings in Fragment feature various wildlife species isolated within habitats that foreshadow a theoretically dystopian fate. These fragmented landscapes are surrounded by a sea of empty white space, representing the universal unknown in an allegorical interpretation of the effect of contemporary civilization's disconnect from nature.

Through his work, Keyes often explores timely political and ecological themes which involve a deep concern for the environmental crisis our planet is facing. This includes aspects of the effects of global warming such as: climate change, species extinction, the decline of natural resources and the threat of rising sea levels. All of these issues are integrated and woven throughout the mythological fabric of the work, in a resounding visual study on causality. Subject matter suggestive of hope, healing and mortality is conveyed through the shedding of skin, exposed bone and skeletal structures, while green growth and butterflies symbolize transformation and rebirth.

The artist has said: "Through my work I attempt to examine the phenomenon of transformation, in a metaphorical interpretation of both biological and psychological change. These paintings embody an idiosyncratic vision, yet the familiar imagery allows for a connection to collective concerns, shared globally. The animals I paint personify unconscious drives and energies. The tension created when unconscious elements meet the conscious landscape is something that holds tremendous mystery and fascination for me. It is in this space that I feel free to explore the depths of archetypal and mythical potentiality. What began as a personal journey has (I hope) translated into images with emotional impact that resonate with others to question their own temporality."

Born in 1969 in Tacoma, Washington, Josh Keyes currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Keyes graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and later received his MFA in painting from Yale University. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States. Over the past several years, Keyes has developed an iconic and complex personal vocabulary of imagery, creating a unique juxtaposition between the natural world and man-made landscapes. His work conveys an anxious vision of what our world might become in the future as a result of current global warming predictions. The objects and animals incorporated into Keyes' dissected environments each hold individual iconographic significance. The artist weaves his personal mythology through painting fractured and isolated landscapes—either underwater or overgrown with vegetation. The imagery functions as a way for Keyes to express his personal experience while commenting on and sharing his interpretation of world events.

Doze Green

Working in an array of mediums such as ink, gouache, metallic pigments, charcoal and collage, Green's signature aesthetic creatively combines stylized letterforms and figurative abstraction with fluid continuous line work, resulting in an evolved approach to organic cubism.

Returning for what will be the artist's third solo exhibition at the gallery, this show will feature a new series of original mixed media works on canvas, watercolors on paper, and black and white contour line paintings on cardboard.

The largest work featured in the show entitled Siddhartha, made it's debut in December of 2009 during Chimera, an exhibition curated by David Hunt as part of the Scope-Miami International contemporary art fair. Siddartha is the companion piece to Green's earlier Omega Bridge canvas, a collaborative painting created with the Brazilian street artist Fefe Talavera, which measured over thirteen and a half feet wide. The Omega Bridge piece was exhibited in Green's 2008 solo exhibition N.O.O.N.—No One Observes Nibiru.

Green recently completed a set of two large-scale public murals commissioned by CityCenter in Las Vegas, Nevada. He named the project Crossroads of Humanity. The two murals, which contain muti-figure imagery, occupy the surfaces of 6 conjoined walls (3 walls each). Wrapping around several corners, the total combined wall distance measures 80 feet wide by 20 feet high, per mural.

Doze Green speaks in a unique creative voice from the collective consciousness, applying a symbolist approach to metaphysical concepts. A New York City native, and often compared to Basquiat, his urban background and involvement in the early hip-hop/graffiti movement of NYC in the late 70's, early 80's as one of the original members of the Rock Steady Crew, led him to transition from creating art in the streets and subways into the gallery setting. The artist's genealogy inspires many of the themes explored therein, influenced by ancient civilizations and indigenous cultures, including his own Afro-Caribbean roots. Green's totem-like human and animal figures are often conceptually based on polytheistic deities. These divinities represent sentinels, guardians of universal truths, immortal warriors warning mankind of the dangers contemporary society has manifested, looming on the horizon and threatening to destroy us.

Saelee Oh

As her first solo exhibition at the gallery, Infinite Roots features imagery created in a variety of mediums including paintings, drawings and hand-cut paper, all of which will be incorporated into a site-specific installation.

The theme of the work in this exhibition relates to the artist's belief that everything in the universe is connected, and that no one is ever truly alone. Heavily influenced by nature, Saelee's imagery portrays flora and fauna of land, sea, and sky. Her subject matter depicts a harmonious world, flowering and full of life. The narratives are told primarily through female figures as well as various animal species.

The artist has said: "The roots of a plant are what secure it to an interconnected underground where all life is nourished, as the buds and leaves bloom above. The show title, Infinite Roots, alludes to the deep reaches of our intrinsic inner desires. The tone of the work in this series is bittersweet with hints of nostalgia. The pieces appear delicate and frail but the stories they tell are about timeless strength."

Many of Saelee's pieces are delicately painted or drawn, while others are created in an intricate process where she constructs ornate compositions of interconnected flat shapes, imaginatively fabricated and cut by hand out of paper. In a textural play between positive and negative space, the paper overlay often forms subtle shadows beneath the silhouetted imagery, introducing added depth and dimensional layers to the organic line quality of the work.

Saelee Oh is an American artist of Korean descent who currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Her works primarily consist of drawings, paintings and cut paper, although on occasion she has also created sculptural installations and stop-motion animation. Through her delicate imagery, Saelee explores themes including: utopia, female empowerment, identity, connection, alienation, nature, and animal symbolism. In 2003, she graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA with a BFA in Illustration. She has given presentations at Saint Lawrence University and Harvard University, and her work has been exhibited in galleries and Museums across the United States, as well as in the UK and Japan. {moscomment}

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