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Jeph Gurecka, Salt, Soil, Ash

31 Grand
143 Ludlow Street, between Rivington and Stanton, 212-228-0901
East Village / Lower East Side
February 10 - March 12, 2006
Reception: Friday, February 10, 7 - 10 PM
Web Site

Salt, Soil, Ash is a series of paintings created solely on and from rudimentary materials and greatly motivated by the writings of the Czech philosophers Ladislav Klima, Mircea Eliade, and Bohumil Hrabal. Their philosophy drew much inspiration from Nietsche and Schopenhaur and dealt with the paradoxical nature of pure spirituality and dark absurdist humor.

Jeph Gurecka was also inspired by the work of the Czech photographer Josef Koudelka, most known for his documentation of the gypsies from Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Koudelka’s Divadlo (theater) series are striking grainy innovative photographs of live theater productions that capture grotesque charlatans, masks, dramatic romance, and symbolic metaphors. When blown up these images lose their humanism and become the souls of the theater.

Jeph uses organic materials such as salt, soil, and ash to ground the world of illusion to the physical. Much like Mandela paintings and street graffiti murals, his work exists to reflect on the moment, the preciousness of the past and the impermanence of the world. By incorporating the use of resin, a plastic sealer, the images are preserved much in a mummified way, which relate to antiquity. Stained and tarnished from their original form, these images now become something from long ago but assimilated in the present.
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