Miller's paintings are a symphony of fervor as humans intertwine with one another to emotionally withstand an epic catastrophe. The embracing nudes have been stripped of all they once had as the fruits of their evolution inexorably revolted against them, leaving society in ruins. Miller's pieces suggest that man's advancement of technology, although progressive and significant at its height, could alternatively relapse civilization as its ramifications on the environment triumph all else. We are asked to rethink our instantaneous reliance and perhaps adulation of modern day marvels and consider their predestined shortcomings as they slowly yet surely disintegrate the world around us. As technology evolves, it continues to be worshipped and is indispensable, yet a time may not be so far away where these industries will only be left as effigies of a forgotten past.
Scott's paintings include four still lifes of fowls post slaughter, three female portraits and one haunting interior of a levitating infant all sensitively yet effectively hinting at a sense of death and loss. Each painting demonstrates a mastery of light and hue as Scott calls to old master techniques yet imbues these classical practices with a haunting and emotionally evocative narrative. The audience becomes the voyeurs of these frozen moments of time, as death is echoed by subtleties suggested by a jacket draped over a chair in Auld Lang Syne and by a knife left on a counter next to a mangled fowl with a twisted neck in Perchance to Dream. The females in Scott's paintings confirm such suspicions as seen in Presentation and Song of Deborah. In both these works, the females look solemnly away from the viewer and silently bereave and contemplate past events and ones to come. All that remains is a sorrowful yet idolized memory of their losses.
Scott and Miller comment on timeless subjects in contemporary settings. Whether it is the death of one person or the demise of an entire civilization, both artists provoke the definition of idols and effigies as their framework determines it.
NEW YORK, NY (March 2nd, 2013) -- Last Rites Gallery presents ARS OBSCURA: Terror y Miseria, a solo artist exhibition of works by Argentinian artist Santiago Caruso. ARS OBSCURA: Terror y Miseria will be Caruso's first exhibition at the gallery and will include paintings from three series: "Superstition and Inquisition", "Revealers, Prophets & Liars" and "Profound Shadow From the Past" that have never before been exhibited in the United States. Caruso's works are of a time and place of both the past and present; a world not unlike our own -- where the physical embodiment of demons and hellions roam the earth and overturn the religious, commonplace and basic tenets of society for a world overrun with magic, terrors, witches and other beasts. Caruso's poetic, macabre, yet foretelling world is laden with mythological symbols and relative imagery, illuminating the other side of common axioms stressed by society and religion that harness culture and, theoretically, preserve and sustain both mankind and a functioning civilization. Perhaps Caruso is shedding light on the demons that, although appear to be suppressed by humanity and its tenets, still exist and inevitably run rampant in mankind.
"This gallery of horror archetypes or phantasmagories to come, proposes a pilgrimage under the gaze of archaic deities: the viewer must deal with false prophets, demons and hungry ghosts, attend to dark aquelarres, bearing the erosion of time.
Everything is a metaphor of man subjected to the forces of nature, his own fears, his profound ignorance and stupidity. But it is also, the artist's intention to revindicate miserables, segregated by the higher powers, who as senile demiurges that eventually recover their will, may transform the world forever with redeeming or damning gesture." -- Santiago Caruso
Caruso's artistic prowess and content are influenced by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Baudelaire, Marcel Schwob, German Expressionism cinema as well as the artwork of Odilon Redon, Frantisek Kupka, Gustave Moreau, Max Klinger, James Ensor and Mikhail Vrubel. The gothic narratives present in ARS OBSCURA: Terror y Miseria are executed uniquely in the artist's manipulation of watercolor, ink, tempera and the physical scratching of the medium, which effectively strengthens the foreboding and morbid nature of his works.