Division of Birds
Posted on August 04 2022
Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to present Division of Birds, a group exhibition curated by founder and editor-in-chief of Colossal Christopher Jobson on view from August 26 to September 18, 2022. Division of Birds brings eleven exciting artists to Paradigm for the very first time, including Roberto Benavidez, Lola Dupré, Drew Mosley, Chris Maynard, Dina Brodsky, Calvin Ma, Fio Silva, Mike Stilkey, Felicia Chiao, Gigi Chen, and Megan Zaniewski.
Deep inside the cavernous archives of the Chicago Field Museum, the Division of Birds houses the third largest scientific bird collection in the United States. Accessible only for research purposes, the collection contains more than 480,000 bird specimens, 21,000 egg sets, and some 200 nests. It’s estimated that 90% of the world's genera and species are represented in the collection. It is an astonishing chronicle of feathered life on Earth.
It was from a rare chance to visit the Division of Birds that Jobson first hatched the idea of an avian-focused exhibition. A prominent subject for artists throughout human history, depictions of birds are among the first images of recorded history, appearing frequently on the walls of the caves of Lascaux and at other prehistoric sites and on findings from pottery to parchment and engravings to jewelry. Considering the allure of soaring flight, the stunning mixture of color and song, and an incredible variety of behaviors, birds have served prominently in artists’ practices, often serving as the central focus.
Collected in Division of Birds, these eleven artists use humor and realism and science and fantasy to bring to life some 35 birds in the form of paint, collage, paper sculpture, books, ceramic, embroidery, pen, pencil, and repurposed feathers. Through these varied aesthetic forms, we celebrate the vast array of avians all around us, both real and imagined.
Friday, August 26, 2022
5:30 - 8:00 PM
Saturdays • 11:00am – 6:00pm
Sundays • 11:00am - 5:00pm
And 7 days a week by appointment.
Paradigm Gallery + Studio
746 S. 4th Street, 1st Floor / Philadelphia, PA 19147
email@example.com / (267)266-0073
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in receiving the digital collector preview when it is available for this exhibition.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Felicia Chiao is an illustrator and industrial designer living in the Bay Area. She creates all of her work traditionally using markers and toned paper. As a fine artist, she has exhibited in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland, as well as published her own book. As a commercial illustrator, she has worked with the likes of Dirtybird Records, A24, Spin Master, Universal Music, and the Magic Puzzle Company.
Lola Dupré is a collage artist and illustrator currently based near Glasgow, Scotland.
Working with paper and scissors, she references the Dada movement of the early 20th Century and the digital manipulations of the present day. Over the past decade, her projects have included cover art with TIME Magazine and Penguin Classics and assignments with Nike Basketball and The Atlantic Magazine. She is interested in visual communication and exploration, animal portraiture, fashion, technology and everything beautiful.
Gigi Chen’s work creates an aesthetic that combines her training as a traditional animator and painter, along with her love of the techniques of Old Masters. Entrenched in the art of storytelling, the work pulls together her love of contemporary idioms of cartooning, photo realism, texture, and design to produce works that coalesce into love, craft, and fun. Chen was born in Guang Dong, China, and raised in New York, where she lives and works.
Chris Maynard has worked with feathers since he was twelve. His unique feather shadowboxes are recognized by art collectors, bird lovers, and a wide and interesting variety of people from around the world. He only has time to turn a small portion of his ideas, which fill many notebooks, into his designs, and his favorite tools are the tiny eye surgery scissors, forceps, and magnifying glasses passed down through his family.
Roberto Benavidez is a sculptor specializing in the piñata form. Benavidez plays with the underlying themes of race and sin innate in the piñata, layered with his identity as a mixed-race queer artist, with a focus on impeccable craftsmanship. He has exhibited his work in numerous group and solo shows, including at Craft In America, Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, and Palo Alto Art Center, to name a few.
Drew Mosley forms fantastical narratives inspired by the study of natural history, mycology, ancient civilizations, and social evolution. His works tie together contemporary concerns of collapsing ecosystems, hyper-consumerism, and capitalism in a Dutch Renaissance style. Played out across Mosley’s canvases are stories of misguided notions of wealth and social status. In a world with an uncertain future, the characters populating Mosley’s fairy-tale environments offer examples of empathy, community, and reverence for nature. Mosley lives and works in Ottawa, Canada.
Dina Brodsky is a contemporary realist miniaturist, painter, and curator. She was educated at University of Massachusetts Amherst and the New York Academy of Art, where she received her MFA. She lives and works in New York City. She has taught privately and in several institutions, including the Castle Hill Center for the Arts, the Long Island Academy of Fine Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Calvin Ma is San Francisco-based fine art sculptor, who explores the subject of social anxiety by utilizing the form of action figures in his ceramic work. Through a prolonged history with heightened apprehension in social environments starting at an early age, Ma instead sought self-expression through play. He now channels his creative impulses and emotions through his expressive action figure works.
Fio Silva is an Argentine artist whose works take shape on canvases, small leaves, fabrics, and on walls throughout cities around the world. Whether working in acrylic or spray paint, she focuses on capturing sensations, natural movement, and the strength of living beings, and her most recent murals can be found in Berlin, Opuzen, Vienna, Aruba, Belsh, and Rosario.
Los Angeles-native Mike Stilkey has always been attracted to painting and drawing, not only on vintage paper, record covers, and book pages but on the books themselves. Using a mix of ink, colored pencil, paint, and lacquer, Stilkey depicts a melancholic and at times whimsical cast of characters inhabiting ambiguous spaces and narratives of fantasy and fairy tales. A lingering sense of loss and longing hints at emotional depth and draws the viewer into their introspective thrall with a mixture of capricious poetry, wit, and mystery. His work is reminiscent of Weimar-era German expressionism, and his style has been described by some as capturing features of artists ranging from Edward Gorey to Egon Schiele.
Megan Zaniewski is a hand embroidery artist based in Biloxi, Mississippi. She inherited a love of needlework from her mother and grandmother and began embroidering at an early age. She is inspired by nature and uses threadpainting and three-dimensional stumpwork embroidery techniques to capture animal and botanical subjects in realistic detail. Her split-view waterfowl embroideries offer a glimpse of the dual nature of each bird—a calm and graceful facade above the surface paired with the whimsical liveliness below. Her work has been featured in Colossal and Modern Met, exhibited at the Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum, and displayed in personal collections worldwide.
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