The State of the Art Gallery, like most businesses in New York and surrounding states, has closed to halt the spread of Covid-19. In response, the show that we planned for May, Emergence, has been uploaded to an online gallery that you can access at www.soagannex.art. It won’t be quite as much fun as a trip to the gallery to stand in front of the paintings in person and mingle with like minded art lovers, but it will enable you to see what we have been up to these many months. We have also put one piece of art from each artist in the gallery window, so you can get a taste of what the show might have looked like up close in person. Emergence contains the work of eight of the gallery’s members, each showing a substantial body of work completed during this past year that reflects their understanding of emergence.
The paintings I have in this show are metaphors for loss, painted to externalize tumultuous and overwhelming feelings in order to make them manageable and restore equanimity. I started this series in response to my personal circumstances, but as I went on I realized how overwhelmingly universal it is. Everyone experiences loss at some point in their lives. People walk around with invisible holes in their hearts from the loss of loved ones or lose their homes suddenly in the cataclysm of floods, tornados, and hurricanes. Refugees leave their homes and wonder if they will ever navigate through the rocky path to the light beyond. This is particularly timely now, as we engage in social distancing. We have lost the company and touch of those we love, and the sense of agency that we get from gathering together, shopping, going to work or school. We can feel very small in the face of big events that we can’t control and to which we can’t see an end. Regardless of the cause, people can find themselves staring down a vortex of despair. My hope is that these paintings resonate with you for a moment of quiet reflection on your personal life and the universality of loss in our lives, our community and beyond.