Magic, Ethereal Ideology in Contemporary Art | Laura James, Karen Aiki Kelley, and Michael Wilson at Hell Gate Arts

Magic, Ethereal Ideology in Contemporary Art
Opening Reception – October 19th, 2019, 5pm-9pm

Hell Gate Arts
755 East 133rd St
Bronx, New York 10454
Contact: Eileen Walsh, 203.814.6856

Hell Gate Arts is pleased to present, Magic, Ethereal Ideology in Contemporary Art, an exhibit of work that is closely bound to spirituality, spell making, and ethereal ideology.

In this exhibit three New York based Artists exhibit work with deeply visceral connections to personal belief, deeper meanings, and universal connection. “Artists are reacting to the current political climate, the state of our sickly planet, and unending stories of inhumanity towards racialized people says gallerist and curator Eileen Walsh.” The work belies a desire to explore a question beyond our earthly concerns while using very earthbound mediums and process. “What I think unifies the three artists in this group is that each present an evolving and widely encompassing methodology.” The work looks toward established forms of spiritual expression while evolving and entwining them with artistic and secular understanding.

New York City based Artists Laura James, Karen Aiki Kelley, and Michael Wilson will show work in a wide range of mediums including painting, assemblage, sculpture, doll making and collage.

Ms. James, a Bronx based Artist who is well known for her richly detailed narrative painting, also exhibits sculptural work this show. Along with icons of popular Bible stories, Ms. James’ offering also delves into African spiritualism and images from the tarot.

Ms. Kelley who goes by her familiar name Aiki, graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1962, where she was deeply influenced by folklore and mythology. Her long career has taken her through Rome, Paris, Kingston Jamaica and back to Harlem/Bronx USA. This travel has imbued her work with rich layers of cultural meaning. In her series, ‘Boa Morte’ she uses this wealth of experience to create objects that mix familiar scared languages with distinctly humanistic imagery, creating small spaces that seem familiar and humorous while unsettling. Aiki’s exhibit will include large sculpture, assemblage, painting and work on Paper.

Michael Wilson is a Brooklyn Based artist who has made the bold decision to practice his craft in New York’s public spaces. He is a well-known presence in Union Square, at The Met, and other parks around the city. His handmade cloth dolls seem to embody a unique spirit of their own. Some bring to mind goddesses, both ferocious and spritely. His aesthetic places darkly magical shaman-like characters beside confectionary fairylike creatures. His mixed media paintings tell dark, spiritual tales that seem to float in the dream space.

Hell Gate Arts is a gallery and community space in the Port Morris section of the Bronx, located in the shadow of the Hell Gate Bridge.

The show will open with an Artists reception on October 19th from 5-9pm, and run through November 19th, 2019. The Gallery is open on Friday and Saturday from 12 noon until 6pm.