ELEVATING THE MUNDANE
FRANK BURGEL and JEFFREY BEN BERMAN
May 17 - June 21, 2013
ELEVATING THE MUNDANE features the photography of FRANK BURGEL and JEFFREY BEN BERMAN. This exhibition will run from May 17 - June 21, 2013 with an opening reception on Friday, May 17 from 6-8:00 p.m.
ELEVATING THE MUNDANE exemplifies the unrestrained potentials of imagination. Through the conduit of the camera's eye, ordinary, everyday objects, many times spotted from the corner of an eye, are transformed into a new context altogether. From a slight marking on a wall to a non-descript industrial structure, both Burgel and Berman usher forth an alternative landscape into existence. By reinterpreting the original image through abstraction or color enhancement, another is allowed to emerge thus presenting to the viewer an entirely new constructed narrative.
FRANK BURGEL often construes symbolic meaning from the obscurest of objects. By observing the material world through his mind's eye, a hardware fixture in a construction site or the background image of a film still is transformed in his artwork into an extraordinary cosmological scene strewn with esoteric meaning in accordance to the artist's spiritual beliefs. A deteriorating wall metamorphoses into a galaxy and the emanation of blazing light, from an industrial lamp fixture, reveals the fullness of a new moon. The reality, the object in its original state, is now replaced by the reality of his psyche. Burgel takes one step further by treating all the photographs with various surface materials such as sand, sawdust, ash and then encases the images in epoxy. This methodology results in creating dynamic compositions that can be experienced sculpturally while prolific in expressing the benefit of engaging the unconscious to inform all creative output.
JEFFREY BEN BERMAN thinks of himself as a visual explorer - alchemist. As a child perceives fanciful figures in clouds and stars, Berman scans visual environments that others might perceive as commonplace and grittily unattractive. In aging sidewalks, roadways and walls, he discovers an unseen abundance of ephemeral raw material containing designs of beauty, fascination and power. Through his photography, the viewer is transported to otherworldly realms where mythological figures, wandering spirits, and peculiar creatures convene. Layers of peeling paint on the side of a concrete wall depict a robed wizard performing magical acts, while a stain on a sidewalk reveals a wounded warrior receiving a hero's welcome after fighting a hard-won battle. As he enhances each image with brilliant color, rich in texture and depth, Berman strives to preserve the essence of the original source, while endeavoring to elevate its aesthetic content in ways that invite and stimulate the viewer's own imaginative interpretation.
Presented at New York Open Center | 22 East 30th St. NY, NY 10016