Given that today is Halloween and the group show I curated Hellmouth at Ave. 50 Studio closes this week, I thought it appropriate (and timely) to memorialize the wonderful work and artists I selected. As many know Hellmouth is a theme I love, Mystery Plays, the Harrowing of Hell, sacrifice, redemption and rebirth are ideas I return to time and again. My intention with this show was invite artists I admire into the dialogue; the conversation that ensued proved to be fascinating.
The statement for the show pretty much says it all:
Curated by Leonard Greco
Many a morning I awaken with a fiery knot in the pit of my stomach. It frequently feels we are living in dire times and I know many share my dread .
That being the case I’ve invited a few friends to jump right into the Hellmouth and showcase works that explore the depths of existential angst.
The results are poignant , beautifully charged and frequently quite amusing . Much gratitude to the artists:
Upon receiving the submissions I’ve been struck with how the artists of Hellmouth are poets of the shadows , frequently committed to exploring the dark existential crevices of being .
More sensible artists may resist this oracle’s call but like Orpheus these seekers cannot resist that final backwards glance . I trust you will be as moved as I have been.
Perhaps narcissistically, I found it gratifying how familiar all of the work felt to me on an innate level. That perhaps is why I am attracted to this very diverse group of artists in the first place.
Jodi Bonassi fills her canvas with meticulous detail, keenly observed images and most particularly, startlingly empathetic relatable figures. I’m crazy for her paintings… and for her.
My friend Jeannie Frias is a very fine artist in more traditional mediums, she surprised me with her diabolical mixed media piece. The little guy just delighted me.
I’ve known Jeff Iorollo’s work for some time, following it from afar. His work worlds removed from my own superficially spoke directly to my soul; his “Beq” a memorial dedicated to those lost to AIDS particularly poignant.
I feel with Tom Lesley’s work that I almost had a hand in the making. His references frequently so much my own. His dunce-capped fellow seems lifted right from my own “Hadesville” – it isn’t of course, just a delightful serendipity of art making.
Randi Matushevitz powerful scrawls of emotional chalk upon receptive paper causes me to envy her direct expression. They are a marvel.
My young friend Dakota Noot made “Bacon Wants a Taste” specifically for the show, I’m touched by that on a personal level but exhilarated on a aesthetic level. He is an artist to watch, his nimble witty work excites me.
Dania Strong is perhaps the artist I relate to the most personally. Also quite young she is the artist I wanted to be in my youth. We share a visual vocabulary which I am keen to see develop. She also had a sale, congrats to that!
and my own…
The show was very well received and one I am proud of it. I’m looking to curate further shows, thinking of various themes. One being male artists practicing “women’s work”: embroidery, fiber, applied arts, paper etc. Thinking of calling it ” Under Omphala’s Watch”, referencing Herakles’ “emaculating” period of spinning wool under Queen Omphala’s command. The other possibility is “Beyond Frankenstein”, an idea suggested by a friend, where our demons and self loathing monsters have been embraced. Will keep you posted.
This is the last week of the show which closes on Friday, November 3rd 2017 at Ave. 50 Studio, 131 N. Ave 50, Los Angeles, CA, 90042