A.P.E. Ltd. Gallery
126 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Tuesday – Sunday: 12-5
ALERT! A.P.E. is updating its mailing list and changing its email newsletter program. To stay updated on all our events please click HERE to sign up! (If not you will no longer get our announcements.)
time and again in a thousand disguises: The Social Onion Project
An art exhibition by artist Neal Parks
April 7 – May 3, 2015
Evening Reception: Friday, April 10th, 5:00 to 8:00, part of Arts Night Out. The public is invited.
A multifaceted solo art exhibit will be on display from April 7th to May 3rd at the A.P.E. Gallery. In time and again in a thousand disguises: The Social Onion Project, Easthampton-based artist Neal Parks will take over the spacious A.P.E. Gallery, at 126 Main St. The show will feature unique drawings on photographs, several large paintings on canvas, as well as a window display with mannequins dressed with clothing and hand-made masks that tie thematically into the overall scheme.
The exhibition’s title is extracted from a quote by psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology C. G. Jung: “We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.” The main feature of the show will be over 200 photographs modified with pen and ink. In each piece a singular photographic image of the artist is the starting place, on which he renders the face and dress of iconic persons.
Created on 8½” x 11½ paper, the depicted characters are created in pairs to define a union of opposites. The artist changes his features in each piece, crossing gender and numerous ethnic lines. Parks states, “This show addresses how an everyman can image self as other.” Some examples of pairings are: the movie character Beetlejuice with Myley Cyrus, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (Judy Garland) opposite the Dali Lama; LBJ with Malcolm X; Mother Teresa with Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie), and Babe Ruth with Big Papi (David Ortiz).
“I am interested in history and psychology, and strive to symbolically show in my art a balance between the shadow aspects of self contrasted with the illuminated side,” says Parks. “By projecting the personas, literally masks, of these notables onto my person I want to provoke thought and discussion about the social implications of the modern hive mind of the web that defines and reorders the pantheon of history interspersed with pop culture today.”
On the gallery’s walls there will also be two large scale (8 ft. x 6 ft) oil paintings, titled “Alchemical King and Queen,” which are rendered in oil paint stick on canvas with a pointillist technique.
In the prominent front window of A.P.E. there will be a display featuring hand-made masks created by the artist placed on mannequin figures, which will symbolically reference mythology.
5 years in the making, this large body of work that currently comprises The Social Onion Project, is poignantly serious and at turns humorous. “At the heart of it I feel these images speak to a universal human experience – awareness of self in other.”
Neal Parks is an artist, designer and teacher living and working at Eastworks in Easthampton, MA. He holds fine art degrees from Cranbrook Academy of Art and Pratt Institute.
A.P.E. Gallery hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00pm, Friday, 12:00 to 8:00
SPECIAL EVENT: The Prayer of Liminality: Identities in Conversation
When: Wednesday, April 29th, 7:00 to 8:30
Who: Em Jollie, Poet and Neal Parks, Artist
In creative collaboration, local poet Em Jollie will curate a talk by artist Neal S. Parks, whose Social Onion project is on display at APE Gallery until May 3rd. Em will introduce and conclude the evening by reading a combination of works from her recent chapbook as well as newer pieces. Come listen, and take part in a conversation about who we all are in the world -- how we humans signify and make sense of gender, race, class, and other social markers.