Opening Reception March 12th, 7-10pm
That’s So Hot
Cassie Phan, Nick Bontrager, Gregory Scott Cook, Justin Ginsberg, and Ricardo Paniagua
Justin Archer's figurative sculptures express the complexities of the human experience through symbolism and narrative. His work provokes the audience to explore the fragility of human existence and to question our longing for true fulfillment.
Upstairs Project Space:
Sounding the Depths
The term “sounding the depths” refers to the act of consistently measuring the depth of a body of water in order to map it and get a sense for the topography of the ocean floor. For this show, it has a two-part meaning. One is to reference the oceanic theme of the work, and the other is to describe my creative process as I make art. The act of making is a way of measuring, and only through exploring and creating can I learn about my process and understand myself better as an artist.
Currently with my art I am exploring the visual and tactile terrain of the underwater environment. This environment is something I have been investigating through my work for the past year, particularly coral reefs. I find reefs to be an endlessly surprising landscape, a kind of living collage where you always see something new. To me, the coral reef also is a metaphor for the ideal community – diverse elements living in relative harmony with each other. Many of those elements might be very odd, almost alien – and yet the whole reef functions as one entity, a wild and chaotic beauty.
Many of the forms in both the prints and the sculptural forms are reminiscent of coral, kelp, fossils or seaweed but are not exact representations. I find it infinitely more enjoyable to employ my playful side and create my own species that might merge coral with floral, reef with leaf. More recent pieces feature very saturated colors that seek to echo the bizarre color combinations that can occur in nature.
Becoming more aware of my own process - how I best create and how I solve problems - has been a valuable experience. To me, sounding the depths is a constant and lifelong discipline as a person and as an artist. Mapping where I am but maintaining a willingness to explore and play…by doing this I get a better sense of myself, and a broader perspective and greater respect for creation.