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"Michael Ferris Jr. - The Artistís Studio (Revisited)"
2003-10-10 until 2003-11-15
Aron Packer Gallery
Chicago, IL, USA United States of America

The self-reverential nature of Michael Ferris Jr.ís work is apparent in both seemingly opposing bodies of work shown in this exhibition. As an artist who has made it a point to transcend categorization as either a sculptor or a painter, Ferris manages to successfully create two different, but connected methods of discussing the nature of reality and artistic intention. In his bulky wooden sculptures, Ferris fashions personages from found pieces of wood inlaid with wood, a technique called intarsia demonstrating his interest in non-Western cultures. These characters appear to be wise beings, which, though humanoid, are not quite human.

Ferrisí references to himself are more apparent in his paintings and drawings, which take a more traditional Western approach to art. Heavily narrative, Ferrisí paintings depict the artistís alter ego yet again, as an old man whose primary companions are the wooden sculptures he creates. The crowded compositions combine the actual artistís world with a more fantastical, imaginary existence. These paintings become an allegory for the clichťd alienation of the artist.

Somewhere between these two realms that Ferris has created, we see the struggle to find a way to fit into the frameworks of reality and humanity. Ferris is able to take two very different bodies of work and juxtapose them against one another in a way that makes the viewer see the true intention of the work.


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