In their Emerging Curator Initiative the Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art has paired with Kev Nemelka to present Meta Views, a look into alternative portals that are self reference yet lead to possibility of the undiscovered. Nemelka’s principle concept harkens from the idea within the Italian Renaissance that viewed paintings as reflection of the outside world aided by the introduction of Linear perspective. Seen in the first person experience, this new view of art enhanced the viewer’s ability to place oneself within the space painted, and to imagine possibility of traveling through additional spaces. Artists Brando White and Joe Ferriso portray the threshold of those possibilities in Meta Views by exploring uninhabited unnamed spaces that are both familiar and unknown.
Implying the space beyond the frame, Portal (Left), by Brando White represents the possibility of the other side of the wall. White uses the area around the changing tones as a frame, turning the moment of the possibility into an object that begs for investigation. Although all of the artworks in the exhibition are void of figures, Portal’s glow hints at activity just off of the frame allowing it to escape the eerie feeling which exudes from the other paintings. In contrast, White’s Untitled (brick room) places the viewer in the same situation, however the calm is replaced by tension. The perspective is distorted forcing the viewer to consider the space as an outsider looking in or as an inhabitant locked inside a room. The small portal space in Untitled (brick room) also contrasts with the larger opening in Portal. The larger opening becomes a doorway and an invitation to explore the other dimensions that are out of reach, while the smaller acts as a window that allows for observation only.
Artist Joe Ferriso continues the layered narrative, however he relies on texture to enhance the space within Tunnel (left) and Mute Doorway (right). Ferriso uses acrylic on wood, resulting in lines that are slightly irregular and parallel the slightly rippled woodgrain. Ferriso keeps his forms simple and instead conveys depth through variation of color by using the neutrals as a vaulting platform to contrast against the parts that he wants viewers to focus on. Ferriso uses everyday openings such as doors and hallways as portals without much abstraction so that they can be clearly interpreted as metaphors for the paintings themselves in the ultimate meta loop. By painting on materials like wood, Ferriso treats these portals as movable objects that play off of their surroundings.
Meta Views seamlessly blends the work of both artists into multiple layers as they bring Kev Nemelka’s theme to fruition. In addition to the paintings, the shipping container also features the premiere of Brando White’s untitled video that meanders through an ever changing maze landscape. Meta Views is on exhibition from March 18, 2016 to April 10, 2016.