Detail view of one of Eric Kasper's new paintings at the monOrchid
- March 27, 2014
-- Eric Kasper's first major solo exhibition at the monOrchid in February 2013, titled "The Epoch," wowed the record crowds during First Friday and throughout the month. Kasper's paintings were acclaimed as "a visceral look at human development"
and the exhibition was called "one of the best shows in Phoenix in years." MonOrchid owner, Wayne Rainey even stated, "This is one of those times that we will look back on in ten years and say 'I was there.'" The artist aims even higher with more experimentation and a deeper insight into his development in the show "New Work, 2013-2014" on display in the Shade Gallery at the monOrchid April 1-28, 2014.
The 2013 exhibition was a retrospective of the artists body of work spanning approximately 6-8 years. This month's show is all new work created since last February. The figurative paintings show an even more developed sense of skin tones and color palette by the artist, who uses every color in the spectrum to portray flesh, creating a moody, often alarming representation of not only the physical presence of his subjects, but an examination of their psychological states. Kasper admits that he felt some pressure to do something new when he knew the dates of his next show, so he experimented with diluting colors, and loosening the paint, leading to a further exploration of his craft.
The artist is usually tight-lipped about the meanings and inspirations behind his paintings, but monOrchid curator Justin Germain gained some insight in a recent conversation with the artist. Kasper shared that he designed the paintings using bits and pieces of imagery from his collection of vintage magazines and family photos--he even bought a book about the history of the circus that has some imprint of a number of the paintings. He combined the images to create what he refers to as "painted collages" of course with his own artisitic lisence. The selection and composition of the imagery continues to portray his interest in human psychological development, anxiety, and awkwardness. Kasper admits there was likely subconscious attraction to certain scenes based on personal events during the last year, along with internal and external pressures--the ups and downs of a year of his life. In addition to paintings, Kasper also created a number of smaller drawings that he is extemely proud of, it was a challenge for him to work on a smaller scale after focusing on large paintings for many years.
The monOrchid is located in the heart of the downtown Phoenix arts district at 214 E. Roosevelt St. with the building open daily from 9am - 5pm. Originally a Del Webb warehouse constructed in 1937, thirteen years of renovation and invention have morphed the 14,000 square foot building into a unique space for creativity, celebration, and culture. For more information about the exhibition or events please visit www.monorchid.com or contact the art gallery director, Justin Germain, at firstname.lastname@example.org.