“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see, but it is impossible. Humans hide their secrets too well….” – René Magritte
On Friday, October 2, 2015, Arch Enemy Arts proudly presents Maria Teicher’s ‘Here Together, So Alone’, her first solo show since ‘With Words, But Wind’ at Arch Enemy Arts in 2013. With a new collection exploring the realms of “hyperrealistic surrealism”, while delving far beneath the surface of emotion, Maria imparts some of the vast and layered meanings behind her beautifully mysterious work. Additionally, Arch Enemy Arts shines their Artist Spotlight on Kelly McKernan’s ‘Symbiosis’ for a night you will not want to miss!
**When I asked Maria to describe her collection, she generously shared her notes with me. Read them below!
Friday, October 2, 2015 | 6 – 10PM
October 2 – November 1, 2015
109 Arch Street | Philadelphia
Maria’s Notes: ‘Here Together, So Alone’
“My interests lie with the stories, experiences and emotional states of those I have a close relationship with. Using portraiture and narrative images, I explore these sincere realities through sentiment and symbolism. In my work, historical and personal symbolic artifacts, such as braids and veils, marry the subject’s voice, how I see them and their connection to the world. The ideas for each picture comes to fruition organically, contrasting the directed scene my work finishes as. An honest conversation can often ignite an image, leaving me to find the appropriate mementos to direct the picture. In other instances, the symbols speak to me first. I then partner a specifically chosen friend or family member with them. This associate process brings experience and symbolism together for me. The directorial decisions made, with each piece’s subjects and symbols, is intended to create an allegorical space to project into. The open-ended ambiguity in my work is a call to bring one’s own experiences into each piece. This added level of communication is an important part of my work and who I am as an artist.
I am consistently (through each series of work I begin and explore) seeking the stories of the people I feel most connected to. Using symbolism, historical and personal, I attempt to show my viewer what I can see in them. My hope is that they can use the symbols, expression, color palette, etc to project their own thoughts and ideas onto my work. It is a way I can connect to my subject and viewer.
This new body of work explores how we group ourselves together as humans while staying inexplicably alone. (Personal note: this stems from being quite a loner throughout my high school years. I found punk rock/hardcore early on and happily discovered an entire community of other loners. We were there because we were alone/outsiders/odd-balls… and it brought us all together. I feel the same way as an artist/creative now. The feeling has never gone away).
The plastic veiled series summarized: This series explores the idea of personality masks. People are always covering pieces of themselves to be well mannered, accepted, more liked, etc. Sometimes our masks are transparent and sometimes they are more opaque. This process can be quite suffocating in certain situations. The large double figured plastic veiled piece is a representation of a romantic relationship. Neither figure is “suffocating” but a transparent layer of plastic still remains around each individual; even in their romantic embrace they are mildly separated by the veils they wear. They are together while oddly still being alone. This piece was also inspired by one of my favorite paintings by Rene Magritte (titled ‘The Lovers’). It is in part an homage to that work.
The portraits being shown are the beginning of a brand new series (still falling fully under the umbrella of the above artist statement). It is an attempt to go beyond the portrait and create more of an experience surrounding each piece. My hope is that each portrait feels more like a memory or has a familiar emotion associated with it. Pieces of jewelry or parts of clothing begin to expand past the portrait to create a psychological space around the subject.
I have become extremely fascinated by the idea of “artificial extended families” (ala Vonnegut’s ‘Slapstick’) because of the musical and artistic communities I happily became parts of. Those chosen for my new series of portraits were extremely deliberate. I feel very connected to these women for reasons that make them feel like a little family. I feel a sense of community with them while remaining incredibly odd, alone, and strange to most other people. My work always has multiple layered meanings. They start out extremely personal, always have hidden ideas, and are always left open ended for the viewer to project into them. This is important for my work. It is a constant learning experience and exploration into those I know, and those that come to know me through my work. It’s my way of staying alone and quietly finding a way to connect to those I am a stranger to.”
Kelly McKernan’s latest concerted effort explores the human psyche. The subjects of these paintings merge with varied elements representing the intrapersonal functions of emotion. Kelly aims to illustrate the relationship between person and persona, specifically the entropic push and pull between symbiotic interdependence and utter autonomy, and present the nuanced degrees by which balances are momentarily struck.