Myths pervade our collective psyche. They evoke the ancient past and subtly insert themselves in the present day. Rooted in making sense of nature, the supernatural, and the human condition, mythical stories intrigue us, at times frighten us, and sometimes comfort us. Ranging from seemingly innocent childhood tales to dark, sexual or subversive fantasies, Shaping Mythologies highlights four artists that use a sense of mystery and myth in their work through both personal and well known tales.
German-born artist Tine Kindermann creates hand-sculpted figurines placed within boxes constructed from found crates and drawers. The scenes played out within these dioramas depict the climax of widespread dark legends like "Grimm's Fairy Tales." The viewer becomes a voyeur, peering into a small peephole to experience second-hand the characters' emotional gasp in one tense second.
Culled from magazines, books and newspapers, archetypal images are manipulated and reassembled in Lillianna Pereira's collages. While not accessing a particular legend or myth, the works activate the creation of the artist's personal stories while touching upon our collective unconscious. Currently, she has a solo show at the Elephant Room in Chicago.
Norwegian sculptor Rune Olsen creates tension in his narratives that can be sexual and disturbing, and have their own strange tale of seduction. The artist's grayish sculptures are constructed from masking tape, graphite markings, and icy blue glass eyes reminiscent of the artist's own. The characters' piercing stares coupled with Olsen's exacting style and anatomically correct studies of both animals and humans conjures ancient mythology. His work is on permanent exhibition at the Museum of Sex.
Through evolving mutations and landscapes, Rachel Meuler's fantastical oil and graphite on linen paintings imply multi-layered narratives that conjure the idea of hierarchy or a host-parasite relationship. The smaller characters create a secondary tale interweaving around the central hosts, but neither offer definitive conclusions to the unfolding story. Instead they create their own inexplicable ecosystem and mythology. She recently had a solo show at Rabbithole Gallery in Brooklyn.