Opening Reception: Saturday October 13, 8-11pm
Merry Karnowsky Gallery is proud to present Mark Whalen’s latest exhibition: Portals. Though science has yet to validate the multiverse theory, it’s clear that Whalen has proven it beyond a doubt for the art world.
With each of his works Whalen leads us on a leap into complex and ritualistic universes, continually challenging our perspective and expectations. He gives us new windows on alternate universes, complex cultures in full swing of impenetrable, mysterious rituals; disassembling, assembling, worshipping or being warped by an unsteady flow of dimensional time and space. There’s something here of Earth’s most ancient cultures: Ur, Ancient Sumeria, the Egyptian dynasties and the South American pyramid builders – but at the same time these worlds are high-tech, arcanely scientific and distantly futuristic. These pieces step beyond neon vibrancy and the most imaginative worlds of science fiction. Each of Whalen’s universes is totally unique.
There is a constant in this variety however: the absolute dominance of some ‘Higher Power’ – for Whalen’s figures are subject peoples. Their bodies channel Keith Haring’s masterful ability to simplify the human form to its base components without losing any of their potency or information. Their habitats are a dizzying interplay of shapes, colors and trippy holographic components. Design elements feature strongly, reminding one of a bizarre blend of art-deco tiles and Matisse’s pattern-scapes.
From two dimensional spaces to three dimensional statues, basketballs also dominate. It’s almost as if with their original function forgotten, future archeologists have interpreted them as potent mystical artifacts. Whatever they were before, now they are trophies of dominance achieved or perhaps even instruments of subjugation.
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Since 2006, Mark Whalen’s work has shown in a constant stream of sold-out gallery exhibitions in Los
Angeles, London, Berlin, and Australia. He was also included in 2009’s Apocalypse Wow! Exhibition at
MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, Italy and his work has appeared in publications such as
Juxtapoz, Modart Europe, Arkitip, Art Ltd., Anthem, and Monster Children.
In 2008, Whalen was awarded the Sydney Music, Arts & Culture Award for Best Visual Artist, and in 2009 he was named in the Top 100 Creative Catalysts by the Creative Sydney festival. In 2011 he launched his first book Human Development. He currently lives and paints in Los Angeles, California.
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