Opening reception - Saturday, October 14th, 7pm-9pm
October 14, 2006
through November 11, 2006
Gallery IOn View October 14th - November 11th, 2006
Opening Reception Saturday October 14th, 2006 from 7 p.m - 9 p.m.
New York, NY October 2006 – Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Ex Animo, Isabel Samaras’ first solo exhibition in New York. In her series of narrative paintings, Samaras focuses on a new direction in her work, presenting a world where dark, elusive desires become reality. Samaras examines alternate realities, re-imagining gothic romances with happy endings. Ill-fated journeys turn into enchanting honeymoons and surprising love connections.
For Ex Animo, Samaras replaces her recognizable TV characters with new personal models of expression. A hand, an abandoned and forgotten part of humanity, takes on a life of its own, or gets into mischief. Love and attraction, a reoccurring theme in Samaras’ work, are illuminated through symbols and storytelling. “I’m still presenting idyllic images since I still believe in the power of love to conquer all,” explains Samaras, “but it’s tinged with a bit more darkness.” For Samaras these alternate endings are pleasant antidotes to fictitious stories. She invites the viewer to be part of her humorous and heartfelt storytelling process.
To explore the depths of human connection and creation of life, however terrifying, Samaras lures us into an uncharted world, both exciting and fearsome. Challenging the status quo of a typical fairytale, Samaras plays the part of sane scientist, creating works both tender and mysterious. Each painting functions as a portrait, whose seductive, grotesque, or alarming nature plays upon viewers inhibitions, reactions and natural impulses. Painting in an early 19th century style, Samaras attributes romantic and mischievous traits to her characters, incorporating symbols and portraiture that elaborate on traditional fairy tale motifs and recreate fantastic realms. A handsome man who holds the skull of a wolf replaces a menacing animal in Samaras’ version of Little Red Riding Hood.
Inspired by science fiction and horror, especially James Whales ‘“Bride of Frankenstein”, Isabel Samaras applies classical technique to her contemporary works. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, her works of erotic, TV-related pop culture characters have been featured in Juxtapoz Magazine, Metropolitan Magazine, The San Francisco Examiner, NextMonet.com, Chico-Enterprise Record, Reflex, Axcess Magazine, Art Prostitute, Carbon 14, and International Tattoo Art Magazine. Works have also been published in Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art and Weirdo Deluxe: the Wild World of Pop Surrealism and Lobrow Art. Her work was featured in Jonathan LeVine Gallery’s 2005 opening exhibition in New York, Pop Pluralism.