The art in Unloved Creatures depicts a wide array of characters that, to the mainstream population, might be considered monsters; hideous, ridiculous, scary, grotesque or deviant. But don't we all have a little of those things within ourselves? How flat and uninteresting would the world be if we were all Pollyannas; prim, proper and perfect? The Unloved Creatures in this show run the gamut from adorably cute to campy B movie to retro Jetsons to sexually aberrant. These four artists have masterfully created something for everyone to love, fear, gawk at or revile.
Through the Veil represents a departure from Nicholas Harper’s signature long neck enigmas and presents a body of work focused on the landscape. This transition is perhaps obvious considering his deep love of the outdoors and its infinite potential for arresting one’s soul.
For Harper, the natural landscape offers more than beauty and awe. It’s a vehicle for communing with the Creator and harmonizing one’s self with the Creative Principle, that spark that resides in each of us, igniting life and inspiration and calls us to participate in the act of creation.
Drawing on the traditions of Turner and Romanticism, Harper seeks to carve out a niche in the lexicon of landscape painting that is not so far afield of his noir beauties yet distant enough to be of themselves, something totally new for him and standing alone of their own merit.
Conceived from real places and genuine vistas, each painting drips from reality and melts into a state of ambient otherworldliness. The viewer can find comfort in the grounded nod to realism while allowing themselves to fall freely into a meditative realm occupied by wonder and reverie.
The rich darkness that typifies each painting hints at Harper’s previously developed and characteristic artistic sensibilities and his desire to go beyond subject matter. It’s from this same artistic well that he draws forth a melancholic body of ambient landscapes he refers to as Nocturnes.
Each painting draws the viewer close while enticing you to enter a realm beyond that of this world. It is as if each piece documents a specific portal where the earthly and the divine embrace; each painting an invitation to see through the veil that separates the two.
“I will absolutely continue to paint portraits. But just as my style of portraiture has changed and evolved and taken on many different facets throughout the past 20 years, so to this body of work is an extension of my creative pursuits. It’s a body of work I wish to continue to visit and expand upon. I think it’s important for me to continually challenge myself, to continually evolve and be reborn artistically so to speak. I think of the portraits and the landscapes as different but equal, as though they are different notes in an evolving symphony.”
“Through portraiture my aim is to use symbolism and allegory as a means of connecting the viewer with their inner spark as a form of communication with the creator, the source or what have you. I suppose it’s a roundabout way of tapping into universal truth. I think of my landscapes as more of a direct line to God if you will, no wasting time with allegory or narrative. It’s just pure divinity in a frame.”
Local legend and iconoclast Scott Seekins presents new work by himself as well as by five Rogue Buddha Gallery regulars, all of whom he loves and is honored to call artistic comrades.
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