By way of small work that usually stretch lower than a foot, artist Alexander Harrison coaxes scenes of each delicate pure magnificence and profound unease. As soon as-fresh flowers wilt and fall, evening descends round a decaying tree with a determine trapped inside, and malicious roots entangle a fleeting foot, puncturing the pores and skin with thorns and cuts. Rendered in acrylic on panel with trompe le’oiel parts that add illusory depth to the tiny portals, the works are brimming with intrigue and thriller about what lies past the body.
The items proven right here have been on view at Kasmin earlier this month in Harrison’s solo present Large World, a title that alludes to the huge unreality from which he imagines his scenes rising. Supernatural and uncanny, the works comprise recognizable symbols that cite artwork historic and non secular references, whereas the watermelon of “Down within the Mouth,” for instance, attracts on the lengthy legacy of racist imagery. “I see my work as one other dimension, or a universe that seems like a fever dream as proven via my eyes,” Harrison instructed Kasmin Evaluation. “I at all times prefer to have cosmic symbols in my work, like capturing stars and moons, as a result of that creates distance and curiosity, however I additionally prefer to create intimacy by portray the roots below the bottom.”
Typically reflecting on his upbringing in South Carolina, the artist tends to situate Black males on the middle of his items, contemplating the way in which racism proliferates each American historical past and life right this moment. Along with the work included in Large World, he additionally not too long ago accomplished works that includes Black cowboys and their under-acknowledged legacies. Proven as a part of a corrective exhibition on the Harwood Museum of Artwork in Taos, “Past the Horizon” equally depends on caricature and emanates a sinister, foreboding feeling like that of the works proven right here.
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