Seat of Perception

Extra-cultural reviews by synaesthetes, symbolists, and strangers.

Notes in advance of the D E S T I N E S I A Art Opening

Stephen Romano Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
June 2nd 2016, from 5 – 9 pm

Curated by DH Dowling, featuring the otherworldly works of:
Stephen Cefalo, Jeanette Marie Clough, Robert Steven Connett, Marsha De La O, Julie Dermansky, Joseba Eskubi, David Fullarton, Ian Gamache, Karto Gimeno, Mark Gleason, Gregory Jacobsen, Lee Jeffries, Clay Lipsky, Sarah Maclay, Holaday Mason, Tom McKee, P54, Carol Prusa, Victor Rodriguez, Brooke Shaden, Alessandro Sicioldr, Linnea Strid, Fred Stonehouse, Jaya Su Su, A.W. Sommers, Alexandra Urban, CW Wells, Heather Wilcoxon, Dan Witz, Sandra Yagi, Santiago Ydáñez, Sarah Zar, Adam Carnes.

You can see “it” in the way corpulent wrinkles and flesh mimic the pouring fumes of a disaster cloud rising in the distance, like in Clay Lipsky’s Atomic Overlook 01.  Sometimes, there is an essence potently communicated through the gaze, like in Alessandro Sicioldr’s, Ombra or Sarah Zar’s Empath’s Horizon.  The focus of a look conjoins the subjects with seemingly improbable beings, substances, or metaphors. Empathy draws sight so impossibly close, we can’t help but imagine the proximity of our own splintered frames of reference, in perilous, visceral proximity to our eyes.  In Fred Stonehouse’s Lies of Language, blood emerges from language, or language emerges from blood… a body spits out a future ouroboros, evacuating the snake as if it just arrived from Eden, and the whole history can be reversed. In Linnea Strid’s, Where Dreams Go to Sleep, a figure lays in a pool of hectic off-cerulean blue.  Her stare is an emptying one, and the form’s utter despondence makes the viewer wonder whether she’s bled out, but we see blue blood because it’s all an internal metaphor, electric, yet utterly still.  If there was a shelf in the bedroom of D E S T I N E S I A , these are some book titles I would expect to find upon it:

  • A Textbook on Otherness, Written by Others, for Humans.
  • Pamphlet: How to hide a book of spells inside A Textbook on Otherness, without hollowing out the pages.
  • Harbors and Refuge
  • What Everything Looks Like Under Itself
  • Visions, and What to Feed Them

See for yourself: 

*These works will be on view from June 2 – July 29 2016

More about the exhibit from the Stephen Romano Gallery Website:

“D E S T I N E S I A”

There is a realm that is known to artists. It is a realm where night is luminous. Where forgetting is powerful. A place where all must lose their way—

Destiny + Amnesia = Destinesia.  

We lose ourselves to find ourselves.

We peer through a lens; commit brush to canvas; juxtapose images–here the work is fierce and exuberant. We extend the boundaries of self. We stare down oblivion.

Destinesia is a hypnagogic state, bordering on sleep, rich in theta waves, where dreams and reality mix. Here, we make contact with the creative spirit and converse with the elusive muse. Here, we find the courage to create.

Destinesia is the realm of daydreams. Here, we let go. Shatter the routine. Question. Spark. Illuminate. Answer. Here, we have epiphanies. Lose our self-consciousness. Risk it all. Here, everything breaks apart and snaps together. Here, we delve in the dark. Here, we light-up like neon. Here, we are in love with anarchy. Here, we are free.

In Destinesia, we forget to remember. What is created lives forever. The mystery is deepened.

Art makes us see.

Assembled here for the first time, 33 trailblazing artists—from Spain, Poland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Montreal, England and the US—unmask the world we really live in.

This is an unprecedented group of amazing artists. They are abstract expressionists, surrealists, minimalists, hyperrealists, representationalists, illustrators, collagists, sculptors, poets.

The work is analog and digital; spiritual and secular. They use oil on canvas, colored pencil, acrylic on panel, scissors, ink, marker, spray paint, found objects, bristle brushes, palette knives, graphite & mixed media on card, computers, image sensors, film, silver nitrate, Polaroids, words, conté crayon, silverpoint, aluminum leaf, paint on reclaimed wood with historic nails. […]  

I have a favorite quote about the creative process:
“The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it.” -Sylvia Plath

—DH Dowling, Curator, Destinesia, Stephen Romano Gallery

About Stephen Romano Gallery

Stephen Romano Gallery is a new addition to the Brooklyn art gallery community, having opened its doors in April of 2014 in Dumbo and having relocated to Bushwick in September 2015.

Prior to opening the current gallery, Stephen Romano was a private art dealer for 15 years specializing in masters of self-taught and visionary art such as Henry Darger, Martin Ramirez, Charles Dellschau, Bill Traylor, Darcilio Lima, and many others. The Gallery’s most recent exhibition El Gato Chimney’s “De Rerum Natura” was well received and reviewed, as was the preceding exhibition “Trypophobia” by Colin Christian. Stephen Romano Gallery also mounted the most ambitious exhibition of works by pictorialist photographer William Mortensen to coincide with the release of the book “American Grotesque” published by Feral House.

Stephen Romano has been a participant in many art fairs including PULSE, The Metro Show, and the Outsider Art Fair.

In 2013, Stephen Romano produced a seminal 330-page monograph on visionary artist CHARLES DELLSCHAU designed by Marquand Books and distributed by DAP. The book generated several positive reviews from a wide variety of publications such as Bookforum, Raw Vision Magazine, The Atlantic, Slate, Antiques, and the arts and Design Observer, among many others. With an introduction by Stephen Romano, the book features the final published essay by renowned art writer Thomas McEvilley, as well as contributions from the founder of The Museum of Everything, James Brett, and the curator of Smithsonian Museum of Aerospace, Thomas Croutch.

In the same year, Romano also published the first ever post-mortem catalog of works by Brazilian visionary Darcilio Lima and most recently a catalogue of an previously unknown photographic series from 1925 by William Mortensen entitled “A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft,” with an introduction by A.D. Coleman and essay by Tom Pattersen. Most recently, Stephen Romano Gallery had the honor of publishing a catalog of works by Pavel Kraus with an essay by David Ebony, as well as a catalog for Chinese artist Lu Zhang with essay by Robert C. Morgan. In 2015, the gallery produced a catalog of the “TRYPOPHOBIA” exhibition by Colin Christian with texts by Kris Kuksi, Allison C. Meier and Samuel D. Gliner. The most recent catalog was the gallery published was on Italian artist El Gato Chimney with texts by Martin Wittfooth, Pamela Grossman and Michela D’Acquisto.

In the summer of 2015, Stephen Romano curated the highly acclaimed exhibition “Opus Hypnagogia” at Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum. The exhibition was featured in the New York Times, as well as Juxtapoz Magazine, Hi-Fructose, Beautiful Bizarre, Brooklyn Magazine, among many others. This exhibition was followed up in the new Bushwick gallery with “Lexicon Infernali” and a solo show by Rithika Merchant and “Magica Sexualis” and a solo show by Los Angeles artist Jel Ena, and “Charles Dellschau: American Visionary”, the third ever solo exhibition of this seminal outsider artist ever organized and “Hieroglyphica” a companion group exhibition. Stephen Romano Gallery has also recently presented exhibtions by Matthew Dutton, Paul Booth, David Molesky, “Saint Bowie” an homage to David Bowie and “The Devils Reign” curated by Peter H Gilmore.


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