Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shivering in Solitude

Trouble Waters by Andrew Hem

My favorite art topics are loneliness and isolation. Therefore, I'm enthralled by Andrew Hem's haunting images in the exhibit "Cold Water" at LeBasse Projects. His child-like figures are wandering through a barren and forlorn terrain. The prevalence of pallid blues give this vision a frozen quality. Even the warm flesh tones are shifted grey, giving the impression that the figures are in some liminal state of being alive and active yet rendered somewhat insensate by the numbing solitude.

And there is a sense of sorrow. It's a vague presence that imbues the entire composition, from the dark landscapes to the troubled faces of the children. It is unclear whether it is the cause of the loneliness or caused by it. But the sadness clings to the children like sodden clothes. It is given form in the manifold images of wetness, be it in the tides of the frigid sea, ethereal streaks that hint of rain, or the cold drifts of snow.

Colder Than a Polar Bear's Toenail by Andrew Hem

It is a relentless and icy realm of pure loneliness. Yet, the figures generally seem to be enduring through it. They trudge up the frosty mountain. They wade through the icy waves. They persist in spite of the darkness.

So, there is hope and salvation to be found beyond this frozen solitude. It's a difficult journey that requires persistence and resilience, but a determined will can overcome these hardships.

End of the Tunnel by Andrew Hem

Obviously, this exhibit speaks to my interests. I found it to be a moving show, with excellent technique and powerful expressiveness. I don't often cover LeBasse Projects shows because they tend to exhibit "street/urban" artists, which is totally cool but outside of my expertise comfort zone. Andrew Hem's work is so powerful that I'm compelled to write about it. ;-)

Here's a vid of Hem's prior exhibit "One Leads to Another" at LeBasse Projects:

Good stuff!!!

Here's the LeBasse Projects website.

Here's Andrew Hem's website and blog.


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