JOSEPH NAHMAD CONTEMPORARY
OPEN YOUR EYES
MAY 11 – JUNE 11, 2012
JOSEPH NAHMAD CONTEMPORARY
450 W 14TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10014
On May 10th artist Roy Nachum will unveil Open Your Eyes with Joseph Nahmad Contemporary at 450 West 14th. The exhibition, which continues to explore Nachum’s signature themes of perception and vision, consists of paintings and an installation and is divided into four parts, Parallel Realities, Color Blind, Invisible Mirrors and Sea of Crowns.
Parallel Realities is a series of paintings exploring the subtle play of illusion and reality. In some of the paintings a precisely painted animal appears along with an emotional yet ambiguous human. The demeanor of the animals seems to resonate with the emotional core of the people with whom they are paired, suggesting the commonality, universality and complexity of emotion. In other paintings the subjects are seen in multiple poses, as in a photographic double exposure, indicating their variable and sequential emotional states and the complexities of their characters. As in Nachum’s earlier works, the paintings are made on a ground that is subtly inscribed with a poetic text in Braille written by the artist. Over-painted color fields interact with the human and animal figures and the Braille, bringing a dreamlike and interactive depth to the visual plane.
Color Blind is a series of circular canvases based on the Ishihara Color Vision Test, which is used to diagnose color blindness. In each the image is formed by a field of colored circles that function as “pixels”, and in each a Braille message is written as a circle within the circle. To a colorblind viewer these images would be visible but relatively hidden, demonstrating that human perception is variable and considerably subjective.
Invisible Mirrors is a series of monochromatic paintings in which Braille text “dots” are rendered in convex mirrors one centimeter in diameter. Visually impaired people collaborated in making the work by reading the texts, running their fingers over the canvas and mirrors and leaving behind their fingerprints as evidence of their “seeing.” To most sighted individuals, ironically, the text is “invisible” yet as they observe the fingerprints of those who can “see” and read the text, they see their distorted image in the reflections that appear within the text.
Sea of Crowns is an installation of one thousand eight hundred golden crowns, symbolizing a sea of limitless dreams and aspirations. Over the crowns hang ten thousand red ribbons, which are a consistent device in the grammar of Nachum’s work. In the artists’ previous exhibition, “Blind,” each guest was given a red ribbon as a blindfold so that they might “view” the exhibition from a different perspective, as a Braille reader would “see” it.
Roy Nachum’s elegant visual tropes eloquently reveal the conundrums of vision, narrative and poetics. While it is common for art to result in quite different experience from view to viewer, Nachum’s work is extraordinarily variable in how it is experienced as well as how it is understood. It is an exhibition that will literally and figuratively Open Your Eyes.
Joseph Nahmad Contemporary is a unique hybrid gallery that re-imagines the relationships of artists, dealers, collectors and the public. Unlike the fixed location “white box” gallery that has long been the standard environment for exhibiting art, Joseph Nahmad Contemporary presents artists’ works in unexpected contexts and venues. This is the third exhibition organized by the gallery.