THE FIRE THEFT
Curated by Roderick Hidalgo, RH Gallery
April 5 - 26, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, April 5, 2019 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop
Formerly known as the alternative rock band Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft maintains the ethos of punk rock music with emotionally invested intonations in their chic instrumentals and sensual vocals. Hidalgo takes cues from the band and the fire theft myth of Prometheus in ancient mythology, as he brings together an ensemble of eleven local artists who explore the gamut of human emotion with the output of painting, sculpture, glass, mixed media, and drawing.
While Prometheus may have tricked the god Zeus to bring vitality back to the barren earth, and while the music of The Fire Theft may shatter the music scene with the energy of classic punk, Hidalgo meshes together artists to form an aesthetic cohesion that embraces all the elements of line, shape, color, texture, contrast, and saturation that is both "trippy and smart."
Though steeped in a brew of ambiguity, The Fire Theft band fundamentally exists at the service of the melody, pouring over identity while hauntingly navigating adulthood. But there is nothing ambiguous about Hidalgo's The Fire Theft. Ultimately, all the work is imbued with enchanting expressions of identity or place communicating information and ideas.
The fire theft myth has many versions with one that influenced Hidalgo's selection of work for this exhibition. A beautiful bird was given the task of stealing fire from the gods to bring back to the barren earth and all of its creatures. Upon returning with the torch of flames, the bird singes the feathers and skin of the other species; allowing them to bloom with color and life. The selection of artwork reflects this in many different aspects such as gradient from black and white (barren earth) and flourishing with vibrant color (life and growth). Another important element of this myth is that the bird was injured and gave up his own color in order to save the other creatures. He sacrifices his own beauty for a greater good; a valuable and heroic attribute that Hidalgo feels is fading away as we lose sight of reality in the modern world.
Rich, upbeat tones exude from Arthur Brouthers' acrylic and resin paintings where layers of pigment create three-dimensional effects.
Inspired by modernist aesthetics, Claes Gabriel works beyond the flat substrate to stretch canvases over wooden armatures that stand as masks, sculptures, or vessels. Upbeat pigments pronounce a harmonious rhythm that seems to rise to the surface at will.
Exploring the mysterious properties in light and sound, John Gibbons manipulates plaster and other mediums to communicate enchanting interactivity with the physical world.
David Gillespie depicts reality by breaking down form into strong diagonals that intersect the surface plane with bold color and shape.
Darla Jackson's representational animal sculptures explore human emotion through anthropomorphism. She slices through parts of the anatomy to expose that which lies hidden.
Kathryn Kincaid's rich variations of color and dramatic contrasts are rooted in the Dutch 17th century tradition of expression and purity of observation. Light and symbolism draws the viewer in like an unrelenting magnetism to inquire the origins of its luster.
Inspired by the landscapes of her formative years, Michele Kishita uses colors found in nature. Water, her primary subject, serves as the conduit for expressing a highly stylized aesthetic and composition in the Ukiyo-e manner of Hiroshige and Hokusai.
Exploring the idea of "home," Ekaterina Popova's paintings depict rooms set close to the picture plane to provide the viewer an immediate access to her intimate scenes. The exaggerated colors capture a vibrant emotion while implying human presence.
Jonathan Schoff elevates the art of drawing and extracting the beauty of nature. Like Albrecht Durer from 16th century, Schoff balances both idealism and naturalism in his linear, graphite compositions.
Joey Stupor creates "paracosms" using acrylic paint and resin. Inspired by crystals and hidden mysteries in the cosmos, Stupor explores the complex relationship with the subjective universe, its real and imaginary character or conventions.
About the curator:
Roderick Hidalgo opened his own gallery, RH Gallery & Studios, in 2017 and presents bi-monthly art exhibitions showcasing local and international artists. The studio space is rented out to local artists. Most recently, Hidalgo's works have been displayed at The Mill Space and Wilmington's annual Brandywine Festival of the Arts. He teaches art at Wilmington's Nativity Preparatory School, and he was presented with Capital One Bank's Wilmington Art Program Honorarium award. This summer he will be featured in the international art magazine Create!. This group exhibition is in conjunction with Blackout, a solo exhibition by Roderick Hidalgo in our Dupont I Gallery.
DuPont II Gallery