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Murky Realms | The Collaborative at 421 Gallery

Murky Realms | The Collaborative at 421 Gallery


An Artist Registry Program by the Arts Council for Long Beach

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Murky Realms

Cynthia K. Evans and Peter Zokosky
On view October 18 – December 21

Murky Realms presents the work of Cynthia K. Evans and Peter Zokosky, two of the most highly regarded artists working in Long Beach today. Both are incredibly skilled at their craft and both draw from historic traditions. Evans references the rich history of Indian miniatures and illuminated manuscripts and Zokosky the old masters. Evans creates small, but vivid and masterful narratives that have the presence of much larger works. Zokosky has spent years honing his skills and creating works with the technical virtuosity of the Baroque painters he admires. While the practices of both artists have roots in historic painting traditions, their work is contemporary and relevant.

The works of both artists are aesthetically beautiful, but they can be challenging, often giving the viewer a voyeuristic feeling, as if we are looking at something forbidden, and yet there is something universal and familiar that draws one in and keeps one from turning away. Neither artist feels the need to translate or impose their own interpretation on to the viewer, allowing instead, an opportunity for each individual to ponder symbolism and meaning for themselves.

Evans’ and Zokosky’s paintings differ in many ways, yet there is a commonality in the nature of their practices and paintings. Evans’ work is figurative and incorporates elements of collage, while Zokosky’s continually returns to portraiture. And yet, the symbolic nature of both artists’ works draws the viewer away from the “painterly” and into a liminal realm that straddles reality and other layers of meaning, belief, and feeling that hover just beneath the surface. They have both had their work compared to that of the Surrealists, portraying the fantastic, as though it could strangely exist in the real world. These narratives and glimpses into murky realms leave the viewer with an uncomfortable feeling that these images could not only be part of our reality but actually could be us.

Murky Realms opening reception on October 18, 2018 at 6 p.m. Free event.

Brian Trimble and Terry Braunstein, Curators

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