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Quarterly Open Studios

Saturday, March 11 - 6pm - morning

Group Show: "Rage Against The Machine" Curated by Jackie Skrzynski & Robert Modafferi
Live Music: Robby Baier & Joanna Barbera
Late Night Dance Party w/ DJ Eff

rage against the machine

Or make love to it. It’s hard for most of us to come down decisively without over-simplifying our relationship to machines and to nature. Our romantic notions of the feral world often point out the inherent desire to control what we worship. (Mustang horse/Mustang car) Still, the objects of human engineering are not always intent on hubris. Think of a brick wall--or your toilet. Their functional humility has a certain charm.

Our idea for this project is to collect artists who take a particular view of flora, fauna, and the objects of human engineering. Some of these artists use cutting-edge technology to make their images. Others use methods that are centuries old. As the work comes together, we hope a more tempered view of what surrounds us, in all its complexity, will emerge.

While traveling in Asia last summer, Eric Sung was able to get a press pass to a car show. As he was photographing the cars and the obligatory women next to them, he also captured the other photographers. In these works, we look over the shoulder of the models and get a sense of what it would be like to make love to a camera.

Gregory Graham’s work describes the psychological in the every day. That may sound like a cliché, but his works rise above the usual commentary to a very personal, terribly isolated vision. The paintings are jewels, made with multiple glazes and careful brushwork. Their unusual color underscores the melancholy in the sometimes trumped up, sometimes accidental beauty of a suburban landscape.

Ann LePore’s projection is sneaky. Look at it closely to see where the romantic notion of a summer rainstorm butts up against the tomfoolery Ann creates with computer manipulations. Fair Haven reminds us that what is real is completely up for grabs. We don’t even mind.

Lydia Viscardi’s birds are positioned against old-fashion wallpaper. The exquisitely rendered patterns of the birds’ feathers stand out against the faux-brushwork patterns in the wallpaper. Her birds are like ghosts, haunting a wall in your grandmother’s kitchen. They quietly allude to futility, memory and death.

Lori Merhige runs her family’s lace factory, one of the few left in this country. She reupholstered a LaZboy chair and created a similar T.V. cozy to question who is really the bad guy? Saddam Hussein? George Bush? you? me? The source of our problems is often missed because our attention is diverted to the remedy. So, who is the enemy? If you can’t bring yourself to kill your TV, then consider at least tastefully covering it.

Kerry Dennehy wants to describe something “on the other side of ugly.” His preparations for his outdoor installation take you through his thought process developing The Crèche. Influenced by the work of Ralph Eugene Meatyard and the illustrator Gustave Dore, Kerry combined a variety of objects (burlap, leaves, plaster, etc.) to conjure an installation of humble beauty.

We hope you enjoy the exhibition.

Jackie Skrzynski
Rob Modafferi

SPIRE STUDIOS | 45 Beekman Street | Beacon, NY | Map It