548 W 28TH ST 2ND FLR
NEW YORK, NY 10001
November 7 – November 30
ArtNowNY is announcing Happy Place, a solo exhibition of new work by New York based artist Joseph Grazi. This is the first exhibition of Grazi’s work at ArtNowNY. Happy†Place†opens Thursday, November 7, 2013 with an artist’s reception from 6 to 9pm. The exhibition will be on view November 7 November 30, 2013 at ArtNowNY, located at 548 W 28th Street in New York City.
Anxiety about death comes from its conceptual impracticality, as the state is simultaneously final and infinite. This subconscious irreconcilability manifests as a revulsion of physical decay. Grazi manifests those fears in his mediums: bones and bat wings. Contrasted with perfect red marbles and living roses held in vitrines, the organic material is magnificent, and undeniably communal. Happy†Place†is a celebration of death’s certainty and native beauty.
When confronted with death, the mental path most often taken is a slip into a dissociative Happy Place. Grazi’s sculptures and altars prosthelytize an alternative; bat’s stacked wings, and cat’s skeletons are arranged in the familiar shapes of a heart symbol and Sphinxpose. Fanged monkey skulls are raised over live roses. Inside slick Plexiglass vessels, the organic sculptures have a soft warmth, and, despite that they are dying or dead, their materials activate feelings of love and lightness. These positive associations contest the primal fear of death, and the unnatural fight against it. Grazi shows the particular irregularity of natural lines and decay represent an aesthetic worthy of reverence.
The themes of Happy Place are an elaboration on Joseph Grazi’s previous works, including 2012’s ‘Fountain of Youth,’ made of colored marbles and plastic toy balls, and 2011’s ‘Legends,’ sculpted with bat wings. The elements of his compositions vacillate between sarcastic estrangement from the world’s endlessly repeating component parts, to holismand are always antithetical to the seemingly literal message of the artwork’s sum. Everything is true in this interwork inconsistency, as it is in the viewer’s existence: on a micro and celestial level, all biologic and manmade things are essentially the same; the middle is a grey area of vast individuation. The shock of Grazi’s work gives way to winged optimism in an uncomfortable mental space.