03 February 2021 (New Orleans, LA) JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is proud to announce, Outside of Myself (Fuera de mi Mismo), a solo exhibition of new paintings by Venezuelan-born, Miami-based, artist Starsky Brines. In this exhibition, Starsky Brines has created paintings that address the curious balance humans have forged between embracing the animal world and rejecting it. He perfectly encapsulates the dual desire to both connect to and separate ourselves from it. The resulting exhibition is one full of whimsical and playful imagery that merges the human with the animal, whether anthropomorphically or in kinship, and perfectly captures the chaos of the human experience.
The exhibition will be on view from 12 February 2021 through 27 March 2021 with an opening reception coinciding with the Arts District of New Orleans’ (ADNO) First Saturday Gallery Openings on Saturday, 6 March from 10 am - 5 pm. For more information, press or sales inquiries please contact Gallery Director Matthew Weldon Showman at 504.343.6827 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join the conversation with JFG on Facebook (@JonathanFerraraGallery), Twitter (@JFerraraGallery), and Instagram (@JonathanFerraraGallery) via the hashtags: #StarskyBrines, #JonathanFerraraGallery, and #ArtsDistrictNewOrleans.
“Much has changed in the character and thinking of man since prehistoric times, but the main task that he has to carry out within his short period of life remains unchanged: his fight to come to terms with the invisible forces, at whose mercy he is and must always be, whether chasing mammoths or chasing the moon.”
- Sigfried Giedion
The presence of the animal in my work has a dual purpose: on the one hand, it represents the fury, savagery, and chaos in the human perception of the natural world; on the other hand, it represents the idea of an essence and a sacred presence that unites, like a link, two worlds that are supposedly divorced from one another while also reinforcing a sense of separation from nature.
My paintings deal with my questions surrounding the timeless relationship and connections we maintain with the animal world. With humor and curiosity, I have created a universe where the edges are unnecessary and where we are a single consciousness immersed in this reality. It excites me to play with the idea of animality and its iconography, which is so prevalent in human culture from sacred texts of heroes who faced beasts, to fairy tales, and even to contemporary expressions of animal imagery on TV and movie screens. It is apparent, from these ever-present expressions of animal imagery, that we have failed to integrate.
The current moment pushes us to look at that which is hidden and invites us to look at ourselves, so that we may begin to understand that this separation from the animal is not the truth, that our connection with this “other reality” that is wild and sacred and archetypal, is present in every corner of our culture and that, in moments of vulnerability, we remember more easily what is essential to us. Outside Myself is nothing more than an affirmation of myself, of my call to realize that beyond portraying the world, my obsession has always been to see myself and to build the bridges needed to see myself in others.
For years, I have been playing with those ideas from different angles, particularly drawing on my life spent in a city like Caracas and my memories of its wildness and the violence, savagery, and chaos in this city. For me, it was a lesson and a beautiful opportunity to take advantage of that primary pulse that never abandoned me and to turn that pulse into a visceral, spontaneous, and unrestricted relationship with painting. Now, in this moment of survival and vulnerability, caused by the pandemic and by my status as an immigrant, it is still pertinent to evoke our natural strength and, like an alchemist, to transform, play, express, and feel that which is both inside and outside oneself in order to build these hybrid and promiscuous images that heal and quiet my being.
Each work appeared spontaneously, moved by the pulse of each action to paint in connection with me, in introspection, without closing myself off to what I see in this new reality that I am living in these Mayan streets, full of multi-lingual conversations, which, more than images, give me sensations to take up the brush. While things were happening outside and continue to happen, news of losses and healings, this set of works was being built daily, patiently, only with the pretense of doing what I love, filling the fabrics with images, playing with them and their senses, knowing that they tell us of strange and unlikely experiences or, at least, that’s what I was accustomed to think…
Outside of Myself is the result of successes and failures, of failed attempts, of frenzied chaos, of not knowing and of embracing, for a while, the uncertainty that has sheltered us in order to awaken our essential, wild, sublime, and sacred animal that inhabits the creative energy that each being carries with them.
STARSKY BRINE’s paintings and drawings captivate audiences with their distinctive style and a recurring theme, the search for the nature of humanity. In his bold works, the artist focuses on characters that are built from a combination of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic features, as well as the appropriation of elements from comics and toys from his childhood.
On the one hand, these characters distort reality to venture into an environment of subcultures and urbanism created by the spontaneous intuition of his strokes and the appropriation of the contemporary iconography. On the other hand, they move within the realm of fantasy. In particular, the animals paired with their human characters evoke associations with fairy tales or comics. They are reminiscent of the world of theatre, in which fantasy and poetry but also comedy often serve as catalysts for the creation of critical meaning.
With his works, Brines often questions the interplay of good and evil against the background of the worldwide socio-political climate. Yet Brines does not interpret his themes as ‘black and white.’ They are complex and nonlinear, with charming disruptions, quite serious and yet full of humor.
Brines is personally influenced by his mother and art historically influenced by Latin American figurative art, the German Neoexpressionism, the Italian Transavantgarde, and the COBRA group. His works oscillate between figuration and abstraction. Brines holds a degree in Fine Art from the Instituto Universitario de Estudios Superiores de Artes Plásticas Armando Reverón in Caracas.
His work has received international attention in exhibitions and has been incorporated into important collections in cities such as Caracas, Basel, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Santander, Miami, Madrid and Seoul.