Questions of Self Recognition and Art Reflected in Somatic Mirror II in New Boston Area Art Exhibit

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"Is that Me?" Innovative curator brings local and international artists to Boston area gallery to explore human form and recognition in art through drawing, painting, mosaic, sculpture, and animation.

On a recent visit to Times Square, Peter John Marquez watched as people viewed their newly drawn caricatures for the first time. There were smiles, curious looks and some confusion. But nearly every subject mouthed the words, "Is that me?"

That question led the Boston area entrepreneur and curator to develop Somatic Mirror II, a new exhibit for the Brickbottom Gallery located in Somerville, Massachusetts, just outside Boston.

Somatic Mirror II explores human recognition and identification in art. The show poses the fundamental question: How deeply will you look into a work of art to perceive the human form and recognize self?

"Even in the most primitive artistic representations and abstractions, we are compelled to find likeness, to uncover the human form and ask the question, 'Is that me?'," says Marquez. "In this show we are challenged to see our communal reflection."

The show includes works by Boston area painters Gina Halstead, Arthur Hardigg and Pauline Lim, as well as animation and drawing by Alisa Minyukova from Cologne, Germany and the sculpture of Ted Stanke from New York.

The show runs Sept. 17 - Oct. 24, with an opening reception: Sunday, Sept. 20, 4-6pm at the Brickbottom Gallery.

About the Brickbottom Gallery
BRICKBOTTOM GALLERY is located at the Brickbottom Artists Building 1 Fitchburg Street, Somerville, MA 02143,    617-776-3410,, Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday 12-5

Year-round, the Brickbottom gallery presents thoughtful and professionally-curated art exhibitions as one of Somerville's few not-for-profit contemporary art galleries.

About the Somatic Mirror II
Drawing, painting, mosaic, sculpture, animation
Sept. 17 - Oct. 24, Opening Reception: Sunday, Sept. 20, 4-6pm
Participating Artists: Gina Halstead, Arthur Hardigg, Pauline Lim, Alisa Minyukova,
Theodore Stanke. Curated by Peter John Marquez.

Gina Halstead
Halstead draws inspiration from her travels, the human figure and a love of texture and color. Her paintings are the outcome of a visual, intuitive journey that is open to discovery through evolving forms and spaces from which the painting emerges. Oilstick allows her to explore the intersection of drawing and painting, retaining the quality of the visual line while working with larger masses of color and texture.

Arthur Hardigg
Hardigg sees painting as similar to the process of sifting through armloads of shale and gravel, in the hope of finding one or two stones to keep. He expects no less effort from those that view his art. His challenge to the viewer is direct. The viewer's success is revealed in a mirror darkly.

Pauline Lim
Using classical techniques, mosaic, paper-marbling and calligraphy, Pauline explores the experience of self through a lens tinted by European religious art and Indian Mughal paintings. Her recent thoughts and work have explored the transition from the Byzantine abstraction to early attempts at realism in Western medieval religious painting. The ongoing role of the human form in her work is not to document the beauty of physical self, but to capture the complexity and anxiety, and sometimes despair, of existence.

Alisa Minyukova
Minyukova refers to her work as being driven by "fascination anxiety," a personally diagnosed condition of hyper-stimulation -- visual, sensual, artistic -- that usually carries some emotional weight. At first glance, her work may suggest a decorative or illustrative application; however, at their heart, her works are in fact a type of brazen human parody in which self is waiting to be recognized. .

Ted Stanke
Today's corporate-driven consumerism litters the landscapes with a quantity of physical debris -- more superfluous and unneeded junk -- than history has ever seen before. Ted makes sculpture unique to our time with the detritus of our society. Like a present-day archeologist, Ted constructs a human reflection from our unvarnished remains. In his work, we recognize ourselves in new forms, built from what we leave behind.

Peter John Marquez is a curator and entrepreneur with a commitment to developing and promoting the arts. The Somatic Mirror II is the second in a series of exhibits curated by Peter John Marquez at the Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville, MA.

The Brickbottom Artist Association (BAA), is dedicated to preserving and expanding the arts in Somerville and the greater Boston area. The BAA's annual Open Studios, now approaching its 22nd year, is one of the longest-running open studios in Boston. The BAA fosters a stable, permanent artist community of Brickbottom residents and non-resident members and promotes and supports its members and their artwork through art openings, BAA gallery shows, membership benefits and other programs. Through community outreach and involvement, free lectures, and scholarship awards, the BAA strives to expand an awareness of the arts that enriches the Boston community at large.


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