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Indepth Arts News:

"(sub)text : coded and deconstructed language"
2007-01-04 until 2007-01-22
ARTworkSF - Mezzanine Gallery
San Francisco, CA, USA United States of America

The artists represented in this show utilize their aesthetic perceptions to create their own unique 'languages'. What's on view is the visual processing of how each non-verbally communicates both message and meaning--the deconstructed words and phrases of Eric Bohr, the coded messages of Maggie Malloy and the cryptic cyphers of Judith Miller.

Eric Bohr expands comprehension of words and phrases by exploring phonetics and the visual aspect of the written word. The canvas becomes Eric's playground for playing with consonant and vowel sounds, phrases and letters. The isolation of a word or phrase adds a subconscious 'weight' to its meaning which Eric uses to challenge the viewer's association with its accepted interpretation. In the painting "Erect", for example, the words are the primary visual image, and the interplay between the words 'erect', 'reckon' and 'wreck' also are essential to the overall piece. "There is usually a link between color choice and word," says Eric. "In this case what other color but red would be appropriate?" Red meaning "seeing red" as well as "stop", also meaning pay attention and a warning of danger. Eric chose a pair of unusual looking 'x's to bookend the words, the interpretation of which is purposefully left somewhat ambiguous 'x' can mean a warning or something that has been dealt with and crossed out.

Maggie Malloy's imagery 'advocates' for her subject matter in an intellectual, storytelling way. If the background in her work represents the totality of her memory or thoughts about a subject, then the recognizable imagery extracted out of the background represents the prescient ideas that she wants to communicate. Most of Maggie's "coded" works speak to abuse/loss of human values by directing attention to global humanitarian concerns: "Evidence Exposed", is a statement about the Rwanda genocide and "Half/empty/Half Full", a painting of an almost dead cow with legs that extend down onto another piece of canvas, addresses the drought and loss of plant life in Africa.

Most of the paintings in Judith Miller's "Encryption Series" have a hint in the titles. Some are social/political messages, some personal (Center of the Earth), some about looking at art (Cultivate). The coding was done to obscure reality. "In a world divided by religion, poverty and revolting wealth, race, nationalism, ideology, etc. what happened to trying to understand the others point of view? What happened to being open to different people and different experiences?" Judith asks. Judith's cryptic works are meant to stimulate thought and engage the imagination in order to help people "see a new world" if they open themselves up to the experience of viewing the work.

Passages (re) Birth
Maggie Malloy
Passages (re) Birth
5 x 6 in

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