Group Exhibition: Binge and Purge

June 29 - September 1, 2006

Lai Chung Poon • Mike Elias • Audra Graziano • Joshua Howard • Carlyle Micklus • Kelly Mola

Magnan Projects is pleased to present Binge and Purge including the work of six emerging artists from the New York area.  Curated by Noel Heberling, the exhibition will be on view from June 29 – August 5, 2006. Voluntarily or not, the artists in this exhibition have consumed, seen and heard to the point of excess and must now purge themselves.  Politics, propaganda, capitalism, advertising, even the established art world form an ideological all-you-can-eat buffet where we have all stayed a little too long.  How we as individuals deal with the effects of such a feast is up to us.  These artists are united by their common reaction; they pinpoint specific experiences that are irritating or frustrating and have adopted the techniques used by their own respective sources.  Each of these artists takes on the persona of their tormentors and creates work in subversion of their own goals.

Lai Chung Poon has created an animated video with every frame of the original drawings hanging from the ceiling.  Reacting to gender roles, idealized body images and stereotypes, Lai Chung has created an excessive amount of these images. Ironically, by creating page after page of idealized images, she has purged herself of the imposition of these ideas.

Mike Elias created an 10 x 8 foot portrait of Chuck Close composed entirely out of Froot Loops cereal.  This stunningly accurate portrait contains the tedious, meticulous planning employed by Chuck Close himself.  In adhering each individual piece of cereal to the canvas day after day, month after month, Mike has purged himself of the overly technical established art world aesthetic.

Audra Graziano is a mural painter who works by day in suburban mansions decorating bathrooms and walk-in closets (larger than her apartment) with pretty sunflowers and butterflies.  For this exhibition, Graziano created a mural of her own. The artist’s work is raw and spontaneous; using charcoal and paint her lines are agitated and jagged.  Having lived in the gallery for three days, the walls and floors bare evidence of her Binge and Purge experience.

Joshua Howard creates a swirling, whirling wheel of fortune titled “Round Midnight”.  In this piece a smiley faced ring-leader, tanks, golden arches, play slides and the Stars and Stripes combine to dazzle our senses.  The overwhelming visual stimuli are almost enough to distract us completely from the context in which these images exist.

Carlyle Micklus feasts on human interaction.  His need to purge is derived from ongoing social relationships bound by unspoken ideas of acceptability. Male/female relationships, love, lust, racial identity, communication and language become a garbled mess.  Carlyle includes words flowing on the wall in a swirling speech bubble where language becomes jumbled.   

Kelly Mola has created “Harmony Pagoda” a place to go to achieve nirvana.  Erected in the gallery’s courtyard, the tent is filled with drawing and collage images of desirable objects:  big cars, big jewelry, big houses, art upon more art, pop stars, Hollywood – all consumed in an effort to achieve personal harmony.  

Noel Heberling is an independent curator specializing in emerging art.  He is specifically interested in exploring new aesthetic solutions by artists of his generation and validating their art form(s).  Working with artists that work in media such as comic books, video games, anime and pen and ink doodles, the artists consciously integrate and confront art’s history; constantly re-interpreting their own aesthetic while creating an open dialogue with the past.