Alex Arzt, Susan Bricker, Mike Calway-Fagen, Megan Cump, Jonathan Ehrenberg, Megan Foster, KK Kozik, Tyler Matthew Oyer, Josh Peters, Abraham Storer, and Ilene Sunshine
Mixed Greens is thrilled to present Cabin Fever, a dark twist on our annual summer group show. In this exhibition, dreamlike oddities suggest a separation from reality. Some works humorously hint at stir-crazed confusion or B-horror movies, while others present unexpected visions of the great outdoors.
Josh Peters’ painting and Megan Cump’s video reference filmic imagery in a mysterious, and atmospheric style, flirting with impending doom. Peters’ figures in a landscape seem irreversibly lost as darkness closes in on them, while Cump’s protagonist in her psychologically charged video Swamp– amidst ominous whirring sounds and motion, appears on the brink of some dark and otherworldly transformation.
Disorientation as an effect of claustrophobia might be one explanation for KK Kozik’s visually perplexing painting of a surreal date night, complete with glowing orb. Jonathan Ehrenberg’s two-channel video, Monument, simultaneously displays a house that unfolds to reveal an internal forest and a ghostly structure hovering over the sea. Figureless, silent, and frozen in a never-ending loop, the apparitions are both disconcerting and mesmerizing. On a more humorous note, Alex Arzt’s photographs place animals in unexpected, human situations, as if boredom has given way to dreamy delusion where the boundaries between outside and inside are once again confused.
A comparable strangeness occurs with Ilene Sunshine’s Poof, an organic structure appearing to grow out of the wall. The ethereal shape made of tree branches evokes a hole, a void, perhaps even a portal. The viewer inevitably confronts a similar void in Abe Storer’s paintings of outdoor spaces. In his play between flatness and depth, Storer creates an abyss of color where a body of water might exist.
Materiality plays a more significant role in the works of Susan Bricker and Mike Calway-Fagan. Calway-Fagen’s mixed media sculpture looks like a drying animal hide with the threatening portent “almost no one makes it out” embossed on its surface. Bricker’s paintings, while certainly less ominous, use folded and skillfully manipulated paint to create a haunting impersonation of rumpled fabric, paper, or the feathers of an owl. Her abstracted still life painting is a startling source of tactile confusion.
A heightened sense of drama, mystery, and (alien) intervention play roles in the work of Megan Foster and Tyler Matthew Oyer. Foster’s solar rock studies place unearthly beams of fluorescent light throughout Yosemite, interfering with each scenic vista. Oyer’s photographs of similarly picturesque desert expanses also have curious additions; painted with a golden portal or the names of famous Broadway musicals, they suggest that in even a post-apocalyptic world, ‘the spectacle must go on.’