NEW YORK, NY (June 1, 2010) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Lifecycle, an exhibition of new works by California based artist Jeff Soto, in what will be his third solo show at the gallery. In conjunction with this exhibition, the artist will be painting a site-specific public mural in New York City, and releasing a new limited-edition print.
Soto conveys narrative subject matter with dramatic lighting and textural richness in detailed and dynamic compositions. His work often communicates themes of nostalgia, fear, hope, and environmental issues. On the subject of his new series of paintings, however, the artist says:
“My work has always indirectly told bits and pieces of my own story, my thoughts and past. This new body of work is still autobiographical without being self-portraiture, but whereas previous exhibitions focused on current events, environmentalism, politics, and war, this show deals with themes that are more personal, emotional and timeless.”
As the show title suggests, works in Lifecycle refer to birth, death, and the voyage in between. The artist’s interest in time, mortality, fatherhood and generational relationships—within his own family and humankind in general—are explored through visual metaphors and symbolism.
Soto’s work exudes tension as his signature iconographic imagery continues to evolve. With background environments full of old machinery and industrial decay, Soto’s creatures inhabit desolate, forgotten spaces. The artist creates ominous worlds where quasi-divine apparitions with organic tendrils writhe from the cavities of smoking, robotic shells, as their lumbering frames preside over sprawling urban landscapes. Figures duel, wild flowers bloom and rainbows thrive, as dark smog and storm clouds loom amidst floating skulls.