Luce Gallery presents Everyday Secrets, a group show curated by artist Mosie Romney bringing together new works by Chris Lloyd, Collins Obijiaku, Bony Ramirez, Mosie Romney, Curtis Talwst Santiago, and Sydney Elexis Vernon.
Reflecting on themes of mysticism, mindfulness, and materiality as the inspiration for the exhibition, Romney prompts each artist to examine their individual relationship to spirituality and artmaking. In two new works by the artist-curator, the irregular space of memory and the subconscious are grounded by material references to the physical world, characterized by the artists use of decoupage. This instability of memory, the physical body, and the world which entraps it, is explored throughout the exhibition.
Channeling their subjective understanding of the themes, the artists grapple with how to represent the layered dimensions of our physical and spiritual reality, while simultaneously engaging with the rich, historical tradition of figuration. With each artist expanding upon the touchstones of their single practices, the works featured in “Everyday Secrets” explore the metaphysical, the abstract nature of memory, and the complexities of our respective inner/outer worlds.
Sydney Elexis Vernon’s intricate portraits weave together collage, oil painting, screen printing, and charcoal to create heavily-textured, monumental compositions depicting specific micro-histories. The references for Vernon’s artworks come from family photo albums, allowing the artist to meditate on specific moments in her familial history within the larger socio-cultural context from which they originally emerged. Similarly, Chris Lloyd’s multimedia artworks evoke deeply personal themes related to the artist’s journey of self-reflection. His figures are depicted in poetic confrontation with the self - the physical self, as well as, the spiritual self, represented by the mirror. Such symbols permeate the artist’s works on paper, evoking the mysticism of the tarot. The sword, the rose, flames, and columns are recognizable motifs that transform in Lloyd’s work to represent the most intimate moments of struggle, redemption and celebration.
Both Bony Ramirez and Curtis Talwst Santiago’s paintings teeter the line between the real and the surreal. Appearing misshapen and oversized, Ramirez’s figures are intentionally peculiar. Crafted from materials equally diverse as his figures, their presence brings “physical and allegorical depth” to his depictions of daily life and Caribbean history. Santiago’s multimedia practice relies on a wide range of materials, including flash and spray paint, resulting in paintings with dynamic surface texture. His compositions allude to ambiguous landscapes where the physical body of his figures declare their physical presence through intense movement and emotion, while the spiritual body hovers outside the physical self.
Collins Obijiaku’s subjects confront the viewer directly with a bold, and powerful gaze. Using charcoal, paint and his distinct style of draftsmanship, Obijiaku maps out the contour lines of his figures, “exposing the very essence of his subjects' forms”, and revealing the contours of the self that are most innate, yet deeply misunderstood. Strikingly aware, Obijiaku’s works challenge the viewer’s predisposed notions of portraiture by treating it as a deeply reflective genre.
Chris Lloyd (1994, Albuquerque, New Mexico) lives and works in New York.
Collins Obijiaku (1995, Kaduna, Nigeria) lives and works in Suleja, Nigeria.
Bony Ramirez (1996, Tenares, Dominican Republic) lives and works in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
Mosie Romney (1992, New York, United States) lives and works in New York.
Curtis Talwst Santiago (1979, Edmonton, Canada) lives and works in Munich, Germany.
Sydney Elexis Vernon (1995, Prince George’s County, Maryland) lives and works in New York.