Our Shared Past blends the personal and universal through the prism of family
[“It Was Supposed to be Fun.” All original images courtesy of Jefree Shalev.]
[“A Few Years Later,” photograph by Carolyn Brass, 2013.]
The phenomenon of memories can be as slippery and ephemeral as the combination of passing time and thought that lifts them into our consciousness. Does every memory that we keep carry with it some importance and resonance? Why will one recollection occupy our lives while others are overlooked, dismissed or forgotten altogether? Refined through the spectrum of our feelings and emotions, the past can bring us joy, resentment, and even mislead us completely. When combined with nostalgia, that seemingly-universal longing for what can no longer be experienced, a remembrance can even turn into a kind of memorial. Nostalgia can be likened to a funeral where time is buried, yet we still insist on revisiting the headstone, in some weird hope of deciphering these memorials of our past.
And if there is an even greater collective resemblance of memory, it is that they are generally tied into relationships; reveries which seem tethered to our connections to lovers, enemies, our own place in the greater universe, and invariably family. Continue reading →
Absurdity, identity and grace find union in the work of Jason John
(“Fissure,” oil on linen, 28″ by 32″)
Jason John combines the skills of an Old Master with a cutting edge, creative vision. Still in his early thirties, the painter creates pieces informed by a bulletproof understanding of a half millennium of visual arts. Utilizing classic techniques and the highly contemporary methods of photorealism, John gives the viewer purchase to strangely moving worlds featuring people that are bound by what he considers a kind of “nobility.” Adorned with junkyard crowns and surrounded by deliberate signifiers like shifting clouds and universally recognized still-life motifs like fruit and birds, the people in John’s paintings that can appear as poignant as they are ridiculous. Continue reading →