Cautionary Tales: Old Visions Through New Eyes
November 11, 2015 - January 22, 2016
John Jay College
City University of New York
Drawn from common culture and rooted in our deepest memories, stories from childhood hold special power over personal and collective consciousnesses. Iconic representations of characters from these tales are deeply resonant, granting the artist who uses them potent emotional tools.
While the stories relegated to the nursery have always held messages—some conventional, some subversive—the artists in this exhibition use their imagery to explore contemporary social and political issues, to comment on personal experiences, and to challenge innate cultural associations. These pieces evoke viewer responses through seemingly incongruous juxtapositions as well as by shining new light on beloved characters, icons, and stories.
Timely subjects addressed range from Edward Monovich’s examination of the effects of global warming in “Heidi,” to Meridith McNeal’s exploration of lies and the uneven application of justice in “Pinocchio.” Cecile Chong, whose drawings in wax reference the classic “Dick and Jane” books, reflect upon cross-cultural assimilation from her unique childhood in China, Ecuador, and the US; and collage artist Susan Newmark addresses the roles of women through1950’s childhood books, celebrity, and comic strips. Yuliya Lanina created small-scale music boxes based on popular folk tales to examine the underlying moral messages of fairy tales and their effect on a child’s psyche; and Mary Ting references the three “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” monkeys to convey the evil in laboratories that use them for experiments.
Curated by Randall Harris & Anne Hoppe
The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery
John Jay College
860 11th Avenue
New York, NY 10019