The current exhibit at Five Point is an encounter with the inner workings of the artist—with emotion, personal history, and instability. The three artists—Gus Mazzocca Prints in the West Gallery, Zahra Nazari Remnants in the East Gallery, and Jason Werner Hope/Hopeless in the TDP Gallery—all present the personal as public, and share the artist’s personal narrative through image. During the artist talk on October 6th, Mazzocca and Werner expanded on ideas of interior spaces, chaos, fracturing, and juxtaposition:
Mazzocca’s work in the West Gallery span his career—from black and white prints, to mixed media and digital work. In describing his process, Mazzocca says that his latest pieces, a series of mixed media self portraits about his relationship to the body, start as a screen print, to which he adds information, such as lipstick and stickers. In this, the prints become “body alterations,” like surgery, but they also become autobiography—his son is in the medical field. This personal iconography continues in a second series of prints in the show, in which he uses his daughter’s experience in Haiti as inspiration. These prints begin as digital photos, and then are layered with silkscreen prints. This interweaving of various narrative elements and layers of media are autobiographical, yet straightforward—the colors draw you in, while the layers keep you investigating each piece to assemble a meaning.
Werner describes his work in Hope/Hopeless as paintings that “had to happen.” We the viewer are “looking out” from amongst brambles, braches, and darkness to a place that we’re unsure about—a place that looks like a landscape, like hope. Interestingly, Werner says that rather than looking out to a hopeful place, for him, he is looking back over his shoulder at this place, and going into the chaos, rather than away. Werner says this light space within his dark compositions are there as a beacon for the viewer to hold onto amidst an overload of information. He describes wanting to create a painting that was completely dark, but failing, and instead ending up “keeping a spark alive in the darkness.” This dichotomy of light and dark creates a tension between hope, and hopelessness, between feeling like we are engulfed in the darkness, and discovering our escape.
Nazari’s work is inspired by the juxtapositions between Iran’s ancient architecture, and America’s postmodernist architecture. As an immigrant, her move to the United States has been significant in her work. Instability is also a part of her work: “I have always felt instability in my life: First, my youth in Iran, growing up with war. Now, as an Iranian immigrant in the United States, political conflicts and social constraints plague my mind and influence my art.” The idea of structure and chaos is present in her work, with fractured forms and ambiguous spaces that seem to move.
Maxwell Shepherd Memorial Arts Fund, Free Concert
Be sure to see these exciting works in person this Sunday, October 15, along with a solo violin performance by Katie Hyun, playing works from Bach to Bartok. The event, “A Celebration of Music and the Visual Arts” is a collaboration event between Five Points Gallery and the Maxwell Shepherd Memorial Arts Fund Concert Series, and will begin at 4:00 PM. Ms. Hyun has appeared as soloist with the Houston Symphony orchestra, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra, amongst others. She has appeared with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City and was the winner of Astral's 2016 National auditions. She has recently been appointed concertmaster of Trinity Wall Street Church's "Novus New York", a resident contemporary music orchestra. This concert is open to the public and free of charge.