TRANSMOGRIFICATION

TRANSMOGRIFICATION

curated by Tun Myaing and Panos Papamichael

at 2320 Jackson Ave, L.I.C., NY

Opening reception: Wednesday, June 21 2017  6:30-9:30pm

Open to the public: Sundays (6/25, 7/2)  1pm-4pm  and Wednesdays 6/28 & 7/5  5pm-8pm.  Otherwise, open by appointment

Closing reception: Saturday, July 8, 2017 12 noon-3pm

Contact: Tun Myaing myaingprojects@gmail.com,  Panos Papamichael  papamichael@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

TELL THEM STORIES: ORIGINS

curated by Marshall Jones and Tun Myaing
at Mark Miller Gallery, Oct 8-Nov 1st, 2015
read press release


Once upon a time in a land far, far away… And so it begins. Human beings are driven to tell stories to capture events and immortalize them, to share what we know and come to a better understanding of those events or to take us out of them and escape. Joseph Campbell places responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the artist when he claimed in The Power of Myth, “The function of the artist is the mythologization of the environment and the world.” Tun Myaing and Marshall Jones have assembled eighteen artists, including illustrators, comic book artists and fine artists in the exhibit Tell Them Stories: Origins open at the Mark Miller Gallery from October 8th through November 1st. The works range from sequential drawings to video, painting and sculpture. They share in common a response to popular culture. From science fiction to real time politics they are a commentary on our times that blurs the lines of demarcation present in art world hierarchical standards. Recognizable imagery from Star Wars and Star Trek mix ranks with Kermit the Frog and Batman. Mythical heroic icons share the stage with otherworldly creatures. Anthropomorphized machines and armed horsemen pave the way to man’s destruction. Myaing and Jones give us a peek behind the curtain by asking each artist to explore the origins of their art. They have posed three questions: Why did you create this work of art? Why did you choose this profession? and, If you could own any work of art what would it be? The answers, unique and thoughtful as the artists themselves, will be revealed at the opening which takes place on October 8th from 6 to 8 p.m. Neil Gaiman said it best in Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, “Some stories, small, simple ones about setting out on adventures or people doing wonders, tales of miracles and monsters, have outlasted all the people who told them, and some of them have outlasted the lands in which they were created.” Time will tell the final outcome, but for now this story is just beginning.

LOVED AND OBSERVED

curated by Diana Corvelle and  Manu Saluja
at Hersh Fine Arts, June 21st – August 12th, 2014
read press release
review by Angela Gram in Quantum Arts Review: “Loved and Observed: Women in Portraiture”
article by Jeffrey Carlson in Fine Arts Connoisseur: “Loved and Observed”



Hersh Fine Art, of the Long Island Academy of Fine Art, is pleased to announce Loved and Observed, a group exhibition of portraits by twenty-three artists, curated by Diana Corvelle and Manu Saluja. Loved and Observed will be on view from June 21 until August 12, 2014. The artists will be present for an opening on Saturday, June 28 from 6-8pm.

Artists Corvelle and Saluja bring together a dynamic collection of classically trained women whose approach to portraiture ranges from delicate to bold, traditional to nonconformist. Participating artists are Elizabeth Adams-Jones, Erin Anderson, Juliette Aristides, Julie Elizabeth Brady, Aleah Chapin, Diana Corvelle, Michelle Doll, Alia El-Bermani, Alexandra Evans, Shauna Finn, Nanette Fluhr, Nanci France-Vaz, Kristy Gordon, Clarity Haynes, Leah Lopez, Gaetanne Lavoie, Lauren Amalia Redding, Kay Ruane, Manu Saluja, Holly Ann Scoggins, Rabecca Signoriello, Emily Slapin and Maria Teicher.

A majority of the portraits included in the exhibition are of women. In 2009, Loved and Observed artist Alia El-Bermani co-founded the online resource “Women Painting Women” expressly to promote contemporary figurative work of and by women. The intimacy apparent in El-Bermani’s tranquil CaryAnn hints at the depth and appeal of portraying female friendship. Leah by Elizabeth Adams-Jones and Diana and the Beast by Shauna Finn both stem from friendships with fellow exhibiting artists (Leah Lopez and Diana Corvelle, respectively). Depicting women also offers female artists the opportunity to view themselves in a new light. Kay Ruane populates her intricate graphite and gouache interiors with predominantly solitary women beside panoramic picture windows, often as a way to indirectly explore her own identity and relationship to the world.

Another prevailing theme of Loved and Observed is the purposeful blend of traditional skill and contemporary aesthetic. As artist Nanci France-Vaz explains of her narrative portraits, “my paintings combine the lighting techniques of a cinematographer with the methods of the old masters.” Lauren Amalia Redding seamlessly weaves past and present together in Elsa’s Altarpiece II, a diptych of two delicate silverpoint drawings of her grandmother’s hands. Documenting family members is Redding’s way of preserving her Cuban heritage, and her choice of silverpoint as a medium gives an heirloom quality to her drawings that befits the legacy of her subject. Erin Anderson’s hyperrealist oil portraits surrounded by shimmering etched designs literally expose the time-honored practice of painting on copper while at the same time subduing it.

Women’s portraiture has long outgrown expected stereotypes, and the result is as unique as the artist/subject pairings themselves. Maria Teicher’s deftly rendered self-portrait, entitled This Personal Pinnacle, shows a close-up of her face half covered in plastic wrap. The image may remind the viewer uncomfortably of suffocation and mortality, but as allegory it also recalls the broader and more relatable feeling of being trapped or overwhelmed. Clarity Haynes notes that her ongoing series The Breast Portrait Project is “a subversion of traditional purposes of portraiture.” Haynes’s striking, unidealized torsos of ordinary women honor the lives and experiences of her subjects, while also offering women an alternative standard of beauty and strength.

VOYEUR

Gallery

curated by Dina Brodsky
at Lyons Wier Gallery, June 19 – July 19, 2014
read press release
review by Jacob Hicks and Angela Gram for Quantum Art Review: “Voyeur”
article by Elisabeth Donnelly on Flavorwire: “Beautiful, Intimate Art Explores Voyerism”
one of the top 10 summer shows on Artsy: “Must-See Summer Shows”



There is an undeniable thrill that comes from observing peoples private lives or witnessing something intended to stay concealed. The word “voyeur” evokes trespassing into others’ hidden worlds and seeing their secrets. How many of us have lingered too long by a half-open bedroom door or furtively listened in on a confidential conversation? Sometimes, these glimpses into others’ lives are exhilarating, but other times, they leave us feeling uneasy, wishing we could “unsee” what we saw.

In a way, all artists are voyeurs. They have a unique ability to observe the world around them and create windows into strangers’ experiences that might otherwise go unnoticed. These insights also provide a singular perspective into the artists’ own private experiences.

Voyeur” curator Dina Brodsky has assembled a series of artworks that fill viewers with a sense of wonder and transgression, oscillating between the tender and the unnerving. Ms. Brodsky’s paintings deliver a peek into abandoned rooms, leaving viewers wondering about the former occupants’ livesbased on what is left behind.

The artists’ works range in timbre from unscripted moments of gentle privacy to images that feel like intrusions. Bonnie DeWitt’s drawings appear innocent and sweet at first glance, but portray an underlying sense of mystery and voyeurism. Cory Morgenstein’s work displays a face on a mirror, frozen in an expression that is clearly and uncomfortably private; the discomfort is amplified because the viewer’s ability to see their reflection in the image’s mirror background, as an interloper into the scene.

Other artists take objects and settings that are typically hidden and showcase them boldly. Judith Klausner transforms prescription bottles, which are often concealed and imbued with shame, into glittering showpieces for public exhibition. Mitra Walter’s works demonstrate different levels of comfort by partially clothed women in the spotlight.

Diana Corvelle’s lover’s eye lockets harken back to the Victorian era, when sweethearts would exchange keepsakes that purposely obscured the deep sentiment they contained by depicting only part of a beloved’s likeness. Michelle Doll’s paintings openly exhibit highly intimate interactions between lovers. Maria Kreyn’s glowing artworks literally illuminate a moment of introspection from within.

Some painters capture the fluidity of how privacy is perceived. Amber Lia-Kloppel’s works reveal subjects that have the comfortable, relaxed appearance of someone who is alone, even though they are being watched. The figures in Joshua Henderson’s paintings show the intersection between uncertainty and intimacy, and a sense of happy quietude in the midst of darkness. Luis Borrero portrays a spontaneous, unscripted movement of the body in a confidential setting not intended for others’ eyes.

Others capture the voyeurism of trespassing into hidden spaces. Tun Myaing provides a glimpse into the rarely seen underbelly of large, inhabited structures; a venture into labyrinths of out-of-use equipment that grows increasingly dilapidated with time. And James Adelman offers a peek into accidental, partially illuminated scenes resulting from accidental lighting, including a fraction of a dark bedroom illuminated by a fallen flashlight.

For artists, it is a privilege to observe a single moment closely and intently, turning it into a tableau that transcends the quotidian. “Voyeur” allows the viewer an opportunity to experience those moments and provides a rare chance to observe unabashedly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIVING THINGS

curated by Heidi Elbers and Tun Myaing
at the Art Foundry, September 21 – October 12, 2012
read press release


                                                                                                    Living Things

“But after a time allowed for it to swim,

“Instead of proving human when it neared

“and someone else additional to him,

“as a great buck it powerfully appeared.”

-Robert Frost

 

 We are creatures built for encounters.  Some of our favorite past times revolve around meeting new people, talking to them, passing a judgment, and, if we are lucky, understanding them a little.  This is who we are – frequently judgmental, occasionally insightful, hopelessly social, and hopefully, empathetic.  These are traits we living beings picked up from our encounters with fellow living beings.

Once in a while, however, this peculiar chance presents itself to us: to encounter not a person, but an object.  Not to simply see and acknowledge it, but to meet it; not to simply consider it, but to empathize with it; not to see it through our eyes, but to see ourselves through its eyes.  This moment is almost always fleeting, indecipherable, and indescribable; we feel it for a moment – and often walk away with a cautious shrug, unable to tell anyone precisely what we felt.  What we felt, however, was a kind of encounter – an encounter with a nonliving being, a greeting from the universe, a momentary conversation with Everything Else.  The Living Things Exhibit has one aim – to make the conversation longer.

Our penchant for using objects as metaphors is well documented.  Dutch still life is replete with depictions of spoiled fruit, bones, half-empty glasses, and human skulls – objects that represent our fears, our mortality, and us.  The work of a few newer artists (such as Antonio Lopez Garcia) expands on that idea.  An object is no longer a symbol.  The sense of time and decay tells us the story of the object; our story, merely one of many, takes a back seat to the stories of Everything Else.  Changed and molded by time, the object lives a non-life, emphatically still and indifferently different.

We too are objects.  The human body – our first birthday gift, a collection of mechanical and electric machinery, is among the most familiar and least understood objects.  Intricate and capricious, it has its own rules that we are not privy to.  It grows and withers, it becomes hungry, it lusts after other bodies, it gives away our deepest secrets.  Sometimes it is treated as a tool, traded for pleasure and, in its workings, it remains an object – an object that frustrates, fascinates, and inspires.  Only in death does the body reveal what it truly is – a thing, an object, a story of Everything Else.  The living world of animals and botany all live to tell this tale, a union of universal conversation.  This connection of the living world and the world of things has inspired many artists throughout centuries – to this day.

The artists exhibited in Living Things continue and expand on this tradition, bringing their unique contemporary vision of the bizarre and eloquent world of the insentient.  Acknowledging and celebrating the materiality of their work the artists of Living Things talk to the viewer with the voice of Everything Else.

 

THE DRAWING ROOM

curated by Dina Brodsky, Karl Koett and Tun Myaing
at Milavec Hakimi Gallery, May 8th – 24th 2012
read curatorial statement
review by Lidia Arshavsky in Arte Fuse: “The Drawing Room at Milavec Hakimi Gallery”
article by Patrick McGinnis for the Huffington Post: “The Drawing Room: Artists and Their Sketchbooks Occupy an NYC Gallery”
video by Guno Park: “The Drawing Room”

 



Perhaps more so than any other form of art, drawing reveals the pure intent of the artist. Drawing does not allow for multiple revisions; it is for the artist what improvisation is for the actor. The raw talent, the creative spirit of the artist is tangible in the drawing. The Drawing Room allows you a rare glimpse into the private universe of the artist, with all the intricacies of structure and elegance of creative motion revealed. Using a diversity of approaches, the artists reveal themselves as they are: inventive, sublime, thoughtful, playful, absurd – stripped of artifice and pretense.

Ranging from the inarticulate to the sharply defined in their unbroken linearity, these masterful renderings will draw you in, engage you, entrance you with the unique promise of meeting some of the most interesting and talented artists of today mind to mind. It is our sincere hope that the viewer will leave aesthetically engaged, but also with a sense of connection; that particular solace offered only by the well-crafted thoughts of an articulate mind.

LINE

curated by Dina Brodsky, Karl Koett and Dina Brodsky
at the Cell Theatre Gallery, April 5 – April 25, 2012
read curatorial statement
review by Oscar A. Laluyan for Arte Fuse: “Just Draw the Line”



Perhaps more so than any other form of art, drawing reveals the pure intent of the artist. Drawing does not allow for multiple revisions; it is for the artist what improvisation is for the actor. The raw talent, the creative spirit of the artist is tangible in the drawing. Thus LINE allows you a rare glimpse into the private universe of the artist, with all the intricacies of structure and elegance of creative motion revealed. Using a diversity of approaches, the artists reveal themselves as they are: inventive, sublime, thoughtful, playful, absurd – stripped of artifice and pretense.

Ranging from the inarticulate to the sharply defined in their unbroken linearity, these masterful renderings will draw you in, engage you, entrance you with the unique promise of meeting some of the most interesting and talented artists of today mind to mind. It is our sincere hope that the viewer will leave aesthetically engaged, but also with a sense of connection; that particular solace offered only by the well-crafted thoughts of an articulate mind.

SALVAGED

curated by Dina Brodsky and Tun Myaing
at Island Weiss Gallery, November 8 – December 21, 2011

read curatorial statement
review by Frederick Lembeck for the Westbeth News: “Salvaged”


A spark of fire emerges from the friction of two sticks: a flash of life, quickly subsumed by immutable physical law: heat, death, cold. Humans and all of their creations, like the spark, come into existence only to fade, guided to silence by the forces of nature. Spirit is the hope that a part of every human triumphs over death, some part that can’t be unraveled, broken down, or dragged into the void. It is our most potent means to avoid dissolution by the external and internal forces of the world.

In the end, we dissolve into the immaterial, however spirit calls us back to life. The act of remembering is unique to the humankind; it empowers a temporary deity within us. Remembering renders the power to salvage, to save from the wreckage.

Before we die, we create a pact with the living, to salvage us from oblivion by recalling us from the immaterial void. This contract exists between humanity and all things we love.

An artist is specifically trained in the art of salvage, to stave off the forces of entropy, to rescue from loss that which nature mandates to disappear – An artist salvages memories, sparks, time.

A salvage, once performed, is a promise kept. In bearing witness to it, we a reminded and assured that our own memories will be recalled, that our spirits will be kept safe. A salvage ensures that after our passing, our names will continue to be spoken and our essence live on.