Solitude Becomes Him
Through November 9, 2022
Written by Genie Davis
Joey Feldman’s Of An Infinite Solitude is like a Rorschach test for art lovers. Look at any single image long enough and a variety of shapes, patterns, and possibilities emerge, each an engaging, even intoxicating experience.
A mix of small and large paintings, many monochromatic, the exhibition is a visceral punch, delighting, intriguing, and challenging the viewer to unlock a puzzle of meaning contained in each image.
Some works offer more defined images than others. “Am Stare” is a personal favorite, a black and grey cat that is all eyes emerging from the shadows of early morning, much as Feldman himself explains his own cat often does in pale pre-dawn light. Created in oil pastel, charcoal, ink, acrylic paint, and metallic pigment on wood panel, the image is real, whimsical, self-aware, and with an edge of the ominous. The cat’s visage slips out of the shadows and demands definition and attention.
Even more defined is the purple image of “Shin Dig” a mammoth, Godzilla-like purple dragon, with a massive mouth of teeth, a tiny, T-Rex-like arm, and a white eye that looks every bit as frightened as it is fearful, as if the creature remained as surprised and alarmed at its own destructive powers as the viewer. It, too, is created using the mix of materials utilized for “Am Stare.”
More massive, employing the same mediums on canvas, is the exhibit’s titular piece, “Of An Infinite Solitude.” This vast work is part totem, part mask, part monster, part anguished human; a mix of fierce, fearsome, anguished, exhausted, and fully alive. The eyes stare, one large, one smaller and rolled Heavenward, seeking contact or wisdom or both; its teeth are clenched toward the bottom of the work, as if grimacing at some unseen demon. Look closer and see multiple faces within faces. The dark central section of the canvas has a smaller eye and a triangular jack-o-lantern nose positioned just above the grimacing mouth; another eye peers in profile from a triangular shape above yet another such shape. Paint and pastel are layered with elements of collage, creating a granular depth. At the upper left and right, other eyes stare from animalistic faces with beak-like noses. All these faces are emerging from the solitary mind, from the darkness, some born of light, some carrying darkness.
“Dazzle and Confusion” is an equally adept and mysterious visage, this painting smaller, heavily lashed eyes exuding alarm and surprise, with hair crowned in a regal hair style that recalls both the Statue of Liberty and Egyptian queens.
Smaller, colorful works lined the back wall of the large pop-up gallery space for Feldman’s show, with black visages overcome by lines and background splotches of electric blue, magenta, red, and aqua in “Four Faces of Enchantment.”
Another exhibition standout is the large-scale “The G.O.A.T.” This rectangular work features an intense golden eye, the base of strong horns, a sinewy body that exudes power, muscle, and magic.
“The Protector,” tusked, teeth showing from a square and ravenous jaw, eyes intensely, aggressively watching, is equally infused with magic. Gryphon-like wings rise from his back; he is ready to pounce, yet seemingly locked into position, awaiting further instruction or activation.
Feldman has created demons and kings, healers and adversaries, inchoate figures, and those clearly defined. If art is what you make from and of the soul, Feldman’s work has masterfully created it.
Feldman’s work is magnetically viewable online throughout the month of November at minimum, at https://www.joeyfeldman.com/infinite-solitude-gallery.