View previous exhibition here.
Painter Gary Faigin
October 4 to December 2, 2017
The paintings of Gary Faigin, featured in BONFIRE Gallery upcoming show, “INSIDE OUT,” revolves around a fundamental tension between the domestic and the urban, the organic and the artificial, those aspects of quotidian life that are stubbornly persistent, and those that represent the cutting edge of change in our modern world.
In many of the images, food is presented as our principal connection to the natural world, critical to our very survival but increasingly distant in its production. Integrated into traditional still life arrangements, fruit, fries, flowers and fish are presented in purposely incongruous settings, as the excesses of mechanical civilization come ever closer to imperiling the ability of the earth to support its living inhabitants. Faigin emphasizes that our daily needs for food, shelter, and emotional comfort have not been transformed by the new technology of the Brave New 21st century.
In Faigin’s tower paintings, the viewer assumes a position of vertigo that represents a losing of balance, a feeling of being about to fall—a tactic meant to jog the viewer into heightened awareness. The theme of environmental degradation is ever-present, with the viewer’s vantage point akin to a bridge master or tower guard, filled with multiple highways, or an industrial complex, or a deep mining quarry.
In his train paintings, Faigin uses the venerable steam engine to grab the viewer’s attention. Few inventions of the industrial revolution embody as much historical and cultural resonance as the train, one of the single most potent agents in altering our physical and cultural landscape -- trains shrank distances, swept away the Wild West, and made our mega-cities possible; trains led to war being infinitely more lethal, and resource extraction becoming infinitely more efficient.
Faigin’s painted trains destroy landscapes, thrust open doors unexpectedly, and are relentless in their momentum and speed. Early 20th Century artists were hired to paint trains in picturesque, uninhabited terrains whereas Faigin pictures them in the very landscapes which they have helped make ever more precarious.
October 4 – December 2, 2017.
Opening reception: Saturday October 7, 6-8PM
Artist Gallery Talk: Saturday October 14, 2PM
First Thursday Open Gallery: October 5 and November 2, 2017 6-8PM
Gary Faigin, Artist, Author, Educator & Critic: Faigin’s paintings have been shown in galleries in New York, Santa Fe and Seattle as well as one-man museum shows at the Frye Art Museum and the Coos Bay Art Museum. He received his artistic training at the Art Students League in New York and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Faigin is also the co-Founder and Artistic Director of nationally-renowned Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, and the author of “The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression,” published in 1990, since translated into eight languages. Faigin writes art reviews for the Seattle Times and hosts televised “Art Talks” with leading American artists at Town Hall, Seattle. His Wikipedia page may be located here.