The stories of tradition are often the hardest to confront, but often their origins and their messages are vague and open to a variety of interpretations, including dangerous and destructive ones. A debut exhibition at Mayson Gallery, titled Original Sin: In the Garden of Eden,aims to dissect and re-think the very narratives at the foundation of Western Society. Original Sin: In the Garden of Eden opened Friday, September 13 and runs through Saturday, October 19.
As the brainchild of Awakening the Optic (ATO), a New York City-based artist collective composed of international emerging talents, painters Davi Leventhal and Misha Tyutunik, draftsman/sculptor Luciano Fontanez and photographer Anderson Zaca question everything we know. Taking inspiration from seminal Biblical texts, ATO has devised a visual landscape that asks, “What if Adam and Eve met today? How would they dress? Would they be proper, well-mannered or savage and wild? Would they be grotesque or strangely beautiful fawns, minotaurs, centaurs and sphinxes? Would Adam and Eve be decked out in Louis Vuitton and Eve in Dolce & Gabbana?”
The works themselves possess and comment on the artistic and cultural tropes, including the very facets of human nature that have been deemed taboo, such as sex, selfishness and money. What results is a visual onslaught with layers of protest, often subtle and other times not. Compelled by the forces that govern society today, ATO looks to the myths and tales that underscore our societal values and imagine a world if these very values of the past had emphasized different ideas.
Each of ATO’s members hails from outside the United States—Leventhal and Zaca from Brazil, Tyutunik from Russia and Fontanez from Puerto Rico—and all found each other in New York. Despite their differing rearings, each artist found that they shared common perspectives in the challenges of being a member of society. Thus, ATO was formed as a lens; even their moniker is a double- entendre, meaning “action, act, recording, ceremony” in Portuguese. Its multifarious meaning reflects the sensibility of the collective, which strives to address the various intersecting elements of our culture by using the strength in the collective voice. ATO supports one another, inspires one another and feeds off one another’s creative talents processes. In the age of individualism, ATO reminds us that community is still empowered.
Original Sin: In the Garden of Eden Exhibition Information
254 Broome Street, New York, NY 10002
Exhibition Dates: Friday, September 13 to Saturday, October 19
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm
Subway: F to Delancy Street; J or M to Essex Street; B or D to Grand Street
Admission: Free and open to the public
About Mayson Gallery
Mayson Gallery brings a diverse excellence of artists, working in various mediums, to Manhattan’s contemporary art scene. Located in the heart of the Lower East Side, the gallery hosts both solo and group exhibitions from its well established and emerging artists. Mayson Gallery is dedicated to providing expert guidance and personal attention to private and corporate collectors in acquisitions of works of art. Mayson Gallery is owned by longtime friends Ronni Anderson, who also serves as the director, and Susan May-McLean.
Deborah Hughes, Inc.