I was riveted when Dani Tull came into the shop and showed me images on his phone of photographs of his that now grace the show.
These photographs depict woman who embody a stone-aged aura, and who, in these two particular works, have large stones photoshopped where their faces would normally be, but ever so gladly I say, what is normal!? These faces are then framed by the bountiful unkempt hairstyles that were popular in those prehistoric times.
It is a rare treat to be able to witness, in close confines, two contemporaries of mine taking a startlingly similar visual ground that end up communicating such different things. I feel that Dani's images are speaking with a reverence for the past, a connecting back to the power of that simplistic time of basic necessities, relationships to things, and a deep relationship to nature, people and the structure and actions of those relationships. These woman are sure-footed, their tools are strong and their lives are single-minded directed by their environments and their needs.
Melodie Mousset's work, (click here for previous blog for images) whose rock noses and stoned faces were already a part of the exhibition, has taken a similar tact with this body of work, in that the faces of her subjects are covered in real rocks made up of singular rocks with nose shapes sculpted out of the backs of them to make them nose-worthy masks. Melodie's relay more of an eerie humor, a play on the absurd, but also a powerful visual impact of feeling the weight of forms through connecting visually to the real objects on the faces of her models in the posters.
Dani and I had a conversation that is still resonating with me about the intersections of ideas and outcroppings of those ideas that happen amongst artists independent of each other. I thought of the scene in the film Close Encounters when many people unbeknownst to each other began to feel the unstoppable need to form sculptures of a mountain, which ended up being the site of the close encounter - a shared consciousness that desired these images into being.
UNFOLDING THE STONE, Study One + Two, 2011 =================================================================================================
Framed C-prints ===============
16 x 20” and 11 x 14”
And these are images of Dani's tie-dye paintings of cave men. I find the notion that the evolution of man having been sped up significantly by the interactions/ingestion of psychoactive plants to be an exciting avenue for reflection. The images of early man against the backdrop of tie-dye patterns in these paintings project a potent image of the idea that accelerated human thought was most likely due to the mind expanding properties of mother nature's own offerings, these plants that are portals to different ways of seeing within and on a micro and macro level. We have been separated so much from interacting with the earth and its offerings and specifically with such plant ingested experiences has been lost. Is it such a surprise to witness the plethora of closed minds around us? I feel fortunate to have had experiences with psychedelics, and often wish I could dose the planet and see what kind of humanity resulted. I'm not saying that these experiences are the only portal to mind-opening, but it is powerful and much of my own self awareness I attribute to these trips.
Form in Thought, 2008
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Mind, 2007
And, just to show more of Dani's pieces to round out the view, here are two totemic encaustic abstractions - they are completely mesmerizing and seem to be a testament to the patterns in nature and in our deepest mind's eye.
Observation, Penetration, Comprehension, Illumination, 2011 ====================================================================
Creative hostess of the Elohim, 2011 ==============================