Blind Man’s Journey Continues, the new solo exhibition by Mike Davis, will be presented at Copro Gallery March 21st. Mike will also be in attendance during the artist reception for a signing for his new book Blind Man’s Journey.
On the same night in Gallery 2 a group show headlined by the works of Chris Mars will be showcased for the Chris Mars and Friends exhibition.
Opening Reception and Book Signing:
March 21, 2015 | 8:00-11:30PM
March 21, 2015 -April 11, 2015
2525 Michigan Ave. T5
Santa Monica, CA 90404
The illusionistic paintings of Mike Davis are rendered in a fashion reminiscent of Flemish Primitive paintings, like that of Hieronymus Bosch or Jan van Eyck. Along with an Early Netherlandish style and classical motifs, one of the greatest illusions depicted in Mike Davis’ work is manifesting a portrayal of time of what this world once was. As real as the past was, it only now exists in our imaginations—not including the objects and knowledge that have transcended time past.
Mike Davis “The Usual Suspects”
Blind Man’s Journey is a narrative of the deliverance of mystery. The cold winter landscapes showing the season of death reflects our modern end of times. The essence of this series is reflective in his Untitled painting in which the Reaper, pointing to an hourglass, sits in a tree waiting for the final hour of the dancing couple who are oblivious to their inevitable demise. As the sun sets below the horizon their gaiety and celebration will come suddenly and unexpectedly. When we are not conscious of life’s journey then destiny can seem to strike us mercilessly without warning.
The paintings throughout Blind Man’s Journey show the descent of revelation. In Breaking the Pattern a UFO hovers above the mundane engagement of two peasants whose focus is directed to the ground— again, oblivious to the symbols around them that would suggest for them to direct their attention to a higher purpose, which is further represented by the butterflies, symbolic of transformation. Also upon the barrel the two figures are sawing is an ear, perhaps symbolizing the necessity to listen to messages from nature. Upon the ear is a raven, which the calls of a raven are suggestive to alarm one to pay attention to either one’s surroundings or something they are overlooking in a current situation in their life.
A Fair Exchange is another depiction of a mystery being delivered by an agent of nature. In Looking for the One and The Usual Suspects, industrialization looms over a culture integrated with nature. The peasants are ignorant to the radical shift of technological mystery that will soon be within their control. Though their lives are simple and in tune with nature, the advancement of industrialization and technology will divide them from their earthly communication.
The threat of progress, being disconnected with nature, the end of one era and the beginning of a new, is shown in The Sum of All Fears. The individual has been dismembered. The individual has been reconstructed. The individual emerges from a factory with its insides exposed to reveal how the organic constitution has been integrated with a machine. The individual is now a hybrid of flesh and machine. The serene atmospheres are now filled with billowing factory smoke. The old world is no more. But this is not the end of the world. The journey continues. In Self Portrait the individual is shown with keyholes. There is still mystery to be unlocked. Even though form transforms, the essence of an individual has not been marred by the advancement of society.
The Blind Man’s Journey is both a narrative of self-realization and a revelation of revolution. Appropriately through Primitive Flemish style Mike Davis shows how these dark times we are experiencing today have been experienced in previous ages. Our new world will be the old world to a future generation who will only know our times through imagination. We are on the brink of a great transformation—but that will require two things—death of ignorance and the revelation of mystery. But will what is to be revealed to us in modern times be the ruination of a future generation as the advancement of technology was the scythe of an old world that enlightened our new world?
In Gallery 2 at Copro’s exhibition space Chris Mars and friends, such as Dan Quintana and Menton3, will be showcasing new works. With Chris Mars headlining this group show the tone of the following artists should naturally be understood. If you are not familiar with Mars’ works and background it might be helpful to understand the spirit of his body of work. The older brother of Mars was incarcerated at an early age having been diagnosed for schizophrenia. It is this mind that Chris Mars enters in his work and it is this mind that he invites the rest of the world to enter. In fact, his very website begins with a home page in which one must click Enter—symbolizing this conscious choice to enter a state of no boundaries.
In our society medical issues regarding the mind are misunderstood—an understatement for the past five thousand years. We criticize the depressed for being lazy and we demonize individuals with conditions such as schizophrenia. On a social level we treat them like the unwanted children locked up in the basement, neglected but kept alive only do to an uncomfortable whisper of conscience that we fear to speak louder. The affect is a lack of compassion and understanding from the general populace and fear and shame from those who might need to seek help, afraid to discuss openly mental health issues and to receive proper care to prevent irreversible situations further down the road.
This concern is translated into the works of Chris Mars, who witnessed the dehumanizing process his brother endured in the medical system. Chris’ mission statement is, “To free the oppressed; to champion the persecuted, and the submissive; to liberate through revelation the actualized Self in those proposed by some to have no self at all. It’s in every single one of us, somewhere underneath that word on our chest.”
The underlining theme of many monster stories, such as Frankenstein or The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is that often it is society that defines and creates what is perceived as a monster. The monster is usually just misunderstood do to a physical deformity. In regard to people with severe mental health issues, with people who do not conform to general social categorizations, and even people who are innovative and ahead of their time, the monster is a perceived intellectual idea often rooted in ignorance.
The work of Chris Mars explores the manic dialogue of inventing the perceived monster. The paintings reflect the multitude of schizophrenic personalities caught in blurry worlds stretched between polarized horizons of light and dark. In his latest work Cesium Sunset, the manic underworld has been segregated in a corner destined to be confined the peaceful setting of a world illuminated by the rising sun.