February 22, 2020
378 Gallery presents the Triad exhibition, opening Friday,
February 7, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Triad features the works in series of three exceptional artists: Jon Arge, Chris Beat, and Robert Sherer.
Photographer Chris Beat presents his series, Deities, featuring model and designer David Richardson. An irreverent juxtaposition of the sacred and profane, Deities re-imagines mythological gods and creatures in a postmodern world, The works ask the viewer to consider where we find meaning in a contemporary society characterized by titillation, ostentation, and excess; who are our heroes, our fetishes, our gods; and what is real and what is fantasy.
While the arbitrary constructs and suffocating morality that came to define bygone civilizations their
myths and their gods have lost potency, these works life the veil, placing the concept of god in the eye of the beholder. During the opening night of the Deities series, David Richardson will be performing an artistic transformation in the Lo Gallery.
For Chris Beat, it all started one day in 1972 when a young man with spiky red hair, make up, and a Technicolor spacesuit landed on Chris Beat’s suburban English television screen. David Bowie had transformed himself from an ordinary middle class kid into a bisexual alien superstar with a little red dye, a bag full of Max Factor and loads and loads of attitude. In a cognitive flash, Chris and so many others learned the power of transformation. The lesson was how a little glamour, subversion, and perversion could make you feel like and be someone else, giving you a platform to create. First in London and then in Atlanta, Chris would invent, design and spin at clubs of his own, eventually finding his niche in documenting the glamorous and the outrageous around him. His first photography exhibition included one shot of Richardson. Their artistic relationship has grown to last 10 years, producing four exhibitions and culminating in Deities. The body of work documenting the artistic collaboration between Beat and Richardson is now presented in the book, Deities, published in January 2020.
David Richardson started playing dress-up in the early 1980s and has been a contributing artist in the Atlanta club scene ever since. His interests in costume design and performance art fuse to challenge the boundaries of traditional drag expression. He was a founding member of the experimental retro-drag troupe Eleganza (1988-1993), and has appeared in several music videos and films. David has been featured in a number of publications exploring his decades-long obsession with transformation. Additionally, he has participated in video, performance art, and museum presentations. The Deities exhibition is his fourth collaboration with Chris Beat.
John Arge presents two series of works: his Power Lines series, featuring visions from the addresses of now defunct Atlanta nightclubs and his Beauty Fades Into The Background series, springing from anything and everything that his imagination creates. His work is driven by love and inspiration comprised of people, obsessions, or situations. To be successful, he believes each piece of his art must reflect the shining light and energy of its subject. Although Arge is known to produce art with many mediums, in these series, he returns to works of cut colored paper pieces.
Born a Taurus during the Age of Aquarius in Venice, Florida, Jon Arge showed promise in nothing other than reckless self-expression from the start. He moved on at an early age from wall based, large-scale abstract murals in lipstick to smaller, more concise renderings in ink on paper. After attending the Savannah College of Art & Design, he relocated to Atlanta, where he dabbled eagerly in nonsense and art for more than a decade. Collected worldwide, he has established a committed following of commercial and private clients, with corporate commissions including IBM, Coca-Cola, and Turner. Having exhibited throughout the South, he was one of eleven artists chosen for the 2001 Atlanta Biennial. In 2017, his archives, including all photographs, personal papers, original drawings, and artwork masters, were acquired by Emory University for the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library. He currently resides in every single one of his pieces.
In the series, American Pyrography, Robert Sherer presents a complex mixture of autobiography and fantasy as envisioned in wood-burned works of art. Influenced by classic illustrations from 1950s-1970s camping guidebooks, scouting manuals, and etiquette handbooks, Sherer’s work presents wholesome Rockwellian scenes in a kitsch, nostalgic style that are a combination of derivation, appropriation, and mimicry. His intent is to confront pivotal moments when natural behavior challenges and disrupts social programming. Each piece in the series presents a suggestive narrative that, while often humorous, can be interpreted as either sexually charged or perfectly innocent allowing the viewer to fill in the details using their own emotional baggage. Sherer hopes these works will help others reconnect with the springtime of life.
Robert Sherer is an American multimedia artist and activist who explores race, gender, sexuality and Southern identity in his work. He is best known for his use of unconventional media (blood and pyrography) and for four incidents of art censorship. His work is the subject of the monographic book Blood Works: The Sanguineous Art of Robert Sherer published in 2012. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Georgia State University and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He is a professor of painting and drawing at Kennesaw State University. His work has been extensively and has been curated into museum and private collections of renown.
The Triad exhibition opens on Friday, February 7 and runs through Friday, February 28.