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FILIPPO CHIA, DASH SNOW, KUNLE MARTINS, and NICO PONCE DE LEON DIOS
Exhibition with works on paper, photos, and shrines
161 Essex Street btwn Houston & Stanton | New York | November 8 to December 8, 2003
For more than half a century, the Lower East Side has acted as incubator for artists working at the fringes of the acceptable.
NY Rising is the latest installment of this long tradition. It is an evolution in the exploration of the subtlest beauty found within the more striking and violent gestures of revolt. The ghosts of strange religion and drunken frenzy, made manifest time and time again through the lens of a NY camera or on paper through the hand of an aspirant, seem insatiable here.
Nico Dios' intricately-detailed silk-screens, accented with gold leaf, are allegories of occult philosophies. With images of reminiscent of antique wood-cuts, the artist alludes to the existence of secret paths that some have chosen to transcend the mire of consumerism and mediocrity.
Filippo Chia's, black and white photos of coherent traditional communal values, mostly shot abroad,-Italy, Morocco, Cuba-present us with a world that seems long forgotten, almost alien to us. Glancing upwards we see the body of a child who has been sealed within a glass coffin. Once mourned, she is now gawked at by anyone who can cough up the few measly coins to enter the museum of curiosities where she lies.
In stark contrast, Dash Snow's vibrantly colored and oversized polaroids are windows into the artist's personal space where he captures cross-sections of a life led in rejection of the false values proffered by media and corporate America.
Kunle Martins' work is a journal of snapshots and texts that tracks the history of the artists' origins. It is a personal and candid exposé. NY Rising is a rebellion against the profaning of sacred things. It is an uprising, conscious or not, of these four artists against the powers that have perverted the world around them and sometimes the artists themselves.