ASHES/ASHES is currently showing TRAUMA SAUNA, an exhibition by Brian Kokoska featuring Chelsea Culprit, Erik Frydenborg, and Ben Stone. The exhibition presents a new series of paintings by Brian Kokoska within an installation of sculptures by Chelsea Culprit, Erik Frydenborg, and Ben Stone. Kokoska’s paintings, built from layers of drawing and color blocking, deny any illusion of depth and instead focus on an almost-flat rendering of imaginative scenes inhabited by androgynous figures, mystical creatures and frolicking devils. Crescent moons, stars, bones, genitals, flora and fauna are among the motifs that obsessively reappear, often anthropomorphized and evoking anxieties of sex, ecstasy and death. Accompanied by their morbidly playful and poetic titles, Kokoska’s paintings are gestural interpretations toward a fleeting experience or unknown place that is intentionally left murky and resistant to any one definitive perception by viewers.
In his installations, Kokoska frequently incorporates sculptures by other artists as a device to create dynamic, multi-authored environments, placing the characters in his paintings into a concrete “home” or pretend relational habitat. The somber, monochromatic sculptures in the foreground activate Kokoska’s lively, erotic and grotesque paintings, creating a silhouette-like effect in which the relationship between figure and ground is reminiscent of a domestic interior, stage set, or mausoleum.
Brian Kokoska - TRAUMA SAUNA
ASHES/ASHES, September 10 - October 22