February 2011

Opening: Saturday, February 5 2011 @ 7:00 pm

 

See an exhibition review from Melissa Starker here.

 

A review of our February 2011 exhbition from ROY G BIV Volunteer Katie Browne:

Stepping into ROY G BIV this month is to step into a sub-society in which there is a heightened awareness of the shifting nature of our culture today. Tony Shumski’s work confronts the collapse of meaning within society, and the bombardment of information we deal with on a daily basis. His two pieces appear magnificent, though perhaps this is the very essence of his cultural critique—society’s incessant need to become bigger and ‘better’. Shumski’s work recognizes just how far we have become distanced from the natural, as we respond more to signs, and less to human cues and interaction. This isolates us the truth and further removes us from the real. It may very well be that the death of the real and the loss of authenticity that drives Shumski’s work.

Walking into the south gallery puts one in front of a massive composite sculptural photograph. Structured into an overlapping spiral, the piece mirrors the bustling epicenter of society-Times Square, New York. Like the city itself, this artwork sucks you in. In taking a close look at it, to immerse in the madness, one is surrounded by its sides to the point of an elimination of peripheral vision—the spectacle takes hold and surrounds, consumes. Speaking directly into its center, the echo of your own voice can be heard—a message that speaks volumes. We have isolated ourselves among the chaos of a society so loud that we have become silent among its vastness, where the only voice that can be heard is our own.

Shumski’s second piece is also a composite piece. Strung together, images of city ‘parts’ throughout Ohio hang in unison. The figure stands in the center, lost, though confronting of the standardization within the images, signs and symbols that run our world.

Artists Benjamin Duke and Tony Shumski’s work seem to interplay with one another. As though a conversation were taking place with Shumski, Benjamin Duke’s paintings search for the world by depicting the world. They strive to uncover its location as within us, or outside of us. The figures that seem to flood every image combine visually into the larger whole. Through his work, Duke is compelled to realize the nature of identity, and the intersection between self-conception and social reality. Ultimately, it is how context impacts self-realization that drives the subject matter of his work.

All Duke’s paintings visually play well with one another-hues of blue and yellow flow throughout. What seems to be the exception, however, is the first piece to the right upon entering the south gallery. This piece seems to be lost among the others, with dim shades and an incomplete appearance, most noticeable in the right hand corner. However, this piece does not reduce the impact of the others, as they stand boldly in multiple parts—a choice that perhaps alludes to the multi-categorical elements of our increasingly complex society.