The phrenetic artwork of Joshua Hagler is quite alluring and strange, visceral, grotesque and sensual. Many of his works are confusing blobs of flesh, cloth, blood, light, metal and water, churning and changing in gurgling currents. However scattered that may sound, what forms and figures he uses are bluntly recognizable and intimately disturbing. His works explore ideas born from an “intense personal necessity” to utilize religious content and tear into those psychological trigger-points that confuse and test religious beliefs.
In his latest exhibition, The Imagined Chase, opening at Frey Norris in San Francisco next week, his paintings feature even more abstract forms that resemble rorschach tests and infer a reflection of sorts. More specifically, they explore the outcome of extensive interviews of four men that he executed and recorded over the past few years. This conceptual exhibition explores and remixes these interviews via new paintings, a 16-foot sculptural installation, and a multi-channel animated video projection that involves 3D models based upon the likenesses of each of the four interviewees. The video is a:
“…fictive apocrypha of â€˜sacred historyâ€™ [that enlists] individual and shared feelings about mortality to accelerate experienced history towards myth. When projected externally, imagined scenarios about the mortality of the earth itself are integrated into the cultural evolution of mythology and religion in the present day.”
Regardless of your level of interest in more conceptual artwork, Joshua’s work is stunning to view. The exhibition will be on view from March 1 – through February 28, 2012 with an opening Reception on March 1, 5-8pm.
Thanks to artist Jeff Faerber for introducing me to this great artist!
All images courtesy of the artist and Frey Norris Contemporary and Modern