Questioning perception, relativity and reality is weighty subject matter for a small collection of artworks from three emerging artists. But when understood from a metaphorical approach, such as a passage from scripture, a small show like Seeing Through a Glass Darkly at the Rio Gallery has a chance of achieving its aims of existential enlightenment.
The biblical metaphor comes from Saint Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:12: “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” Each artist responds to this.
Dallas Graham analyzes perception with his series of large prints of the face of President Barack Obama at the 2009 inauguration (another piece from the same Inaugural Address series is pictured above). They are taken live with a 2-megapixel iPhone that leaves the larger print distorted. Graham said in his artist statement, “We think it will be easy to interpret, but it won’t. We think that by keeping our eyes wide open, we won’t miss a single detail, but we do.”
“The theme of our exhibit, when boiled down, deals with interpretation of reality,” Robert France says in his statement. “My imagination allowed me to bend reality, to make a new face, a new person, a new place.” France’s fantastical reality is manifest in his highly stylized mannequin-like figures that are visually appealing and inventive.
Lastly, Janelle Wride’s artistic commentary is poignantly rendered in small kaleidoscopeinspired collages. She said in her statement, “My pieces will portray different prophesies about who I am supposed to be, who I may become.” This relativistic analysis is most apparent when she asks, “Do others see what I see?”