Group ExhibitionCurated by Roderick Hidalgo, RH Gallery
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.