ALIVE WITH PLEASURE!

Melissa Brown, Caroline Wells Chandler, Ryan Travis Christian, Evie Falci, Elizabeth Ferry, Steve Gianakos, Philip Hinge, Irena Jurek, Raúl de Nieves, Chelsea Seltzer & Theo Rosenblum, curated by Irena Jurek

June 28 - August 3, 2018

Caroline Wells Chandler

Arnold Palmer Origin, 2017

Hand crocheted assorted fibers

62h x 60w in
157.48h x 152.40w cm

Chandler-001

Caroline Wells Chandler

Doob (Pink), 2018

Hand crocheted assorted fibers

20h x 21w in
50.80h x 53.34w cm

Chandler-002

Steve Gianakos

The "Baby What" With Noodles Was a Hit, 2013

Acrylic on canvas

36h x 48w in
91.44h x 121.92w cm

Gianakos-001

Elizabeth Ferry

Rainbow Horse Maraca, 2017

Horse figurine, enamel, flock, rhinestone, resin, sparkle, aquarium rock, screws, shells, perfume sample bottle

12h x 4w x 9.50d in
30.48h x 10.16w x 24.13d cm

Ferry-002

Elizabeth Ferry

Bucking Broncos, 2018

Horse figurines, enamel, flock, cereal, resin, sparkle

9h x 15.50w x 9d in
22.86h x 39.37w x 22.86d cm

Ferry-001

Evie Falci

Thalia, 2016

Rhinestones on denim

53h x 48w in
134.62h x 121.92w cm

Falci-001

Chelsea Seltzer & Theo Rosenblum

Pizza Cake, 2018

Wood, foam, epoxy clay, plastic, and acrylic pain

18h x 12w x 10d in
45.72h x 30.48w x 25.40d cm

SeltzerRosenblum-001

Ryan Travis Christian

M.R.S (MR. RICHARD SMOKER), 2018

Graphite on paper

7h x 10w in
17.78h x 25.40w cm

Christian-002

Ryan Travis Christian

READY OR NOT, 2018

Graphite on paper

7h x 10w in
17.78h x 25.40w cm

Christian-001

Ryan Travis Christian

THE SUNRISE WAS GREAT BUT THE GROUP SEX STOLE THE SHOW, 2018

Graphite on paper

7h x 10w in
17.78h x 25.40w cm

Christian-003

Raúl de Nieves

Welcome (BBB), 2007

Acrylic paint, plastic doll, metal studs, beads

4.50h x 32w x 21d in
11.43h x 81.28w x 53.34d cm

DeNieves-001

Melissa Brown

Renault 5 Turbo, 2017

Oil, flashe, acrylic, resin, lottery scratch-off ink on aluminum panel

60h x 40w in
152.40h x 101.60w cm

Brown-001

Melissa Brown

Ocean Oracle 612, 2018

Oil, flashe, acrylic on aluminum panel

23.50h x 17.50w in
59.69h x 44.45w cm

Brown-002

Irena Jurek

Strawberries Wild, 2018

Acrylic, graphite, colored pencil, glitter, and collage on paper

46h x 62w in
116.84h x 157.48w cm

Jurek-001

Irena Jurek

Rapture in Blue, 2018

Acrylic and glitter on panel

20h x 16w in
50.80h x 40.64w cm

Jurek-005

Irena Jurek

Surfing Lessons, 2018

Acrylic, colored pencil, ink, and glitter on paper

18h x 24w in
45.72h x 60.96w cm

Jurek-003

Philip Hinge

Martyrium, 2016

Acrylic on canvas

40h x 30w in
101.60h x 76.20w cm

Hinge-001

Press Release

There is something undeniably seductive and deeply satisfying about the old Newport Alive With Pleasure! ads of the 70s and 80s. Like a good bon mot or a French striptease, they writhe with innuendo, without baring all. They show couples, threesomes, and large groups of people in ecstatic states enjoying quality time together whilst building miniature snowmen, pouring water into each other’s mouths, blowing trombones, and slam dunking. This isn’t just some highly effective and manipulative ad campaign from a bygone era; it’s hedonism, a desirable and meaningful life philosophy, predating the Common Era some 300 years.

Having fun is serious business, and the ancient Greeks understood this better than anyone. Before Epicurus came along and invented hedonism, Euripides wrote The Bacchae, a tragedy in which Pentheus, the king of Thebes, rationalist and all time no-fun-Sally, doubts the importance of Bacchus, the god of drunken revelry, chaos, dancing, and all things worth living for. Ultimately, Bacchus avenges himself on Pentheus by casting his mother under a spell, where she proceeds to have an orgy with the villagers while Pentheus watches, only to charge towards her son and rip his head off his body. The moral of the story, aside from the obvious never throw shade at Bacchus, is to embrace the Dionysian experience fully and to be open to its spiritual powers.

The eclectic grouping of artists in “Alive With Pleasure!” has one overarching commonality; they all welcome pleasure completely and unabashedly, whether it be through their decadent and unusual choice of materials, or sensual subject matter that embodies desire, through the depictions of eroticism, beauty, or gastronomy. 

---Irena Jurek