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Mike Cockrill: Over the Garden Wall

31 Grand
143 Ludlow Street, between Rivington and Stanton, 212-228-0901
East Village / Lower East Side
March 17 - April 16, 2006
Reception: Friday, March 17, 7 - 10 PM
Web Site

In “Over the Garden Wall” Mike Cockrill presents a world where children slumber in a dreamscape of tangled trees, falling rivers, crows, foxes, and prowling tigers. His large, complex paintings are rich with color and latent imagery – boys hunting with long poles, a princess girl taking flight on a carousel horse, a sleeping girl on a bed dissolving into a pond teaming with fish and frogs.

The fears and yearnings of childhood form iconic moments in Cockrill’s work that point to the unspoken truths embedded in storybook fables. Sexual undercurrents find subtle presentation, as in the tender painting “Cross My Heart,” in which a mother places a reprimanding finger on her little boy’s nose. Or, sexuality may rage like bolts of electricity as in “Electra. ” Here, with subtle washes of paint and pencil marks, Cockrill depicts a standing female nude fragmenting against a deadpan suburban background and clutching herself in a moment of almost religious ecstasy – hair forming ribbons of lightning, arching into the sky.
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