Colors of Passion
Gao Yuan and Dimitris Yeros
Through September 8, 2012
Gao Yuan and Dimitris Yeros's work have been paired in Colors of Passion and hope to do more than simply cary the tradition of the nude into contemporary practice. There is something quite traditional to the work of both artists. While the Chinese-based Yuan engages the historical most directly through pose, the Greek-based Yeros does so through symbolism.
Yuan's classically posed nudes recall a tradition that reaches back to the slumbering Venus paintings of the Renaissance. The young delicate bodies recline on cushioned beds, but there is always something to break the traditional concept of elegance- a piercing, a tattoo, or a hairstyle first disrupt the traditional vision. This break does nothing to wear at elegance or grace of form, rather works to establish a contemporary frame. The space surrounding the figures goes a step further. The backdrops are somewhat apocalyptic and unsettling- cold cities, crumbling rubble, dark interiors, and encroaching storms offset what would traditionally be idyllic. The series, still in its early stages, has promise and raises what may eventually be answered questions. R. Wayne Parsons raises interesting points related to the gaze and the exotic, asian, figures. We can hope too that additional pieces will answer the question- are the women larger symbols, and if so what of.
Turning towards Yeros's work, which comprises the majority of the show, we find religious even mythological symbolism embedded into portraits of men, women, and couples. The snake appears is the most direct and potent reference. Somehow this ignites questions that leave us wondering if other animal characters like the rooster, the goat, and even the peacock have more subtle (Christian) references. A host of other animals including a monkey make us wonder at contemporary fact, myth, and symbol. The coupling choices of Yeros are also quite contemporary with same-sex pairs making appearance. Some of Yeros's works are set at a distance; they seem to be relevant steps to the more dramatic and engaging portraits.
On the whole the exhibition is enticing, alluring, and sensual. While historic, the nude remains a relevant force in the current of contemporary practice. Both Yuan and Yeros lean on history but carry the tradition into the present with force, weight, and just the right amount of contemporary "baggage."
For more on the exhibition, please visit Throckmorton Fine Art
The New York Photo Review