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Anthony Pontus and Sara Joncas

Last Rites Gallery
511 West 33rd Street , 3rd floor, 212-529-0666
Hell's Kitchen
April 30 - June 5, 2011
Reception: Saturday, April 30, 7 - 12 AM
Web Site

Anthony Pontius, The Decay:

One of the most unique painters to emerge from the modern surrealist movement, Anthony Pontius is a maverick of medium – never following a formula, he experiments with various paint, thinner, and every vehicle in between to achieve unexpected and unprecedented results. Fluid and unabashed, his paintings do not shy of the bravado of bold brushstroke or a valiant splash of color, yet manage to retain an understated elegance. As recognizable images unravel into subconscious forms, these combinations of representational art with sinuous abstraction evoke intense emotion through the power of suggestion. In his latest body of work, Anthony examines the importance of the human connection to history:

“By using past and present techniques of painting and written histories, I invent my own nostalgic experiences and narratives. I examine imagery, stories and concepts from both the past and present and place them in a shared setting. The established conflicts and connections found in this union enable an image that is flexible for many audiences. I implore traditional and contemporary practices of painting and mix these approaches to form new arrangements. I may use classical clarity to represent and to define a specific part of a story, and at the same time use the ambiguity of abstraction to complete the formation of the work. From this, a new myth develops. It is a story that is familiar yet it has not been cultivated by anyone. The combination of specific imagery and less comprehensive moments creates an accommodating proclamation that allows the viewer to share the anxiety and beauty of human involvement with its identity. This approach allows me to represent our alignment with the annals of history. This display of beauty and complexity of the unknown provides a foundation to what we consider the past and present. As with history, these paintings are not clear or concise. They are fluctuating consequences wielded from contribution.”

Sarah Joncas, Lilith: Last Rites Gallery presents Lilith, new works by Sarah Joncas. Using powerful and sexually charged energy, “Lilith” takes on a darker context with Joncas painting in full-force celebration of the original femme fatale. Combining explicit imagery with more subtle anthropomorphic iconography, she leads us into a world of seduction and mystery.

“My show Lilith is not necessarily as a direct allegorical reference, but more so for what she represents. According to Jewish Mythology, Lilith is considered to be the true 1st wife of Adam, her unwillingness to submit caused her to rebel from Eden in search of her own dark path. As such, she’s been written as the temptress, the mysterious and the devil. Taking from fairytale and folklore inspirations, much of the work borders on the fantastical, indulging and sometimes turning other mythological females into similar demoniac beings. Though working with a relatively more aggressive theme than usual, I’ve kept the melancholic and pensive tone that my work is most well known for. In general, I’ve always focused on the alienated female subject as well, making a theme on the legendary archetype a natural course for me to take. In a sense, I see this body of work as a bit of a return for me. Though the women I’m portraying in these pieces are bolder, more sexual and more mature than those of my previous work, I’ve decidedly brought back some of the whimsy that I’d abandoned after years of schooling. In effect, this body of work has been especially fun for me to create, which is more or less the reason I got into painting in the first place.”

Sarah Joncas was born in 1986 and grew up within both Hamilton and Niagara Falls, Ontario. She currently resides and works out of Toronto, Canada. Her interest in the visual arts developed at an early age, starting with the dedicated drawings of dinosaurs and lizards. Eventually the study and enjoyment of working from existing images stirred up the need in Sarah to create images of her own; ones that could reflect the world, yet also appease the personal feelings/ideas that she herself maintained. With this, her direction changed gradually from the world of animation, towards a path in fine art.

About Last Rites Gallery:

Established in 2008, Last Rites has become a premiere gallery for the Dark Art movement and a haven for artists who prefer to explore the ominous, uncomfortable, and eccentric in their work. Striving to showcase some of the most thought-provoking art in contemporary surrealism, Last Rites creates an atmosphere where the artist can harness limitless expression and the observer can reflect inward, inspired to understand that which resides in us all. Since it’s inception, media accolades now include Juxtapoz, Inked Magazine, Tattoo Society, Hi Fructose, NY Post, and the Channel 11 News. Paul Booth, featured by Rolling Stone as “King of Rock Tattoos”, opened Last Rites after 20 years of contributions to the tattoo and art community. Networks including Discovery, TLC, MSNBC, and MTV, continue to share the Last Rites reputation with the world.
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