Jeff Soto’s “Lifecycle”

by JL SchnabelPosted on

On the precipice of a self-imposed sabbatical, Jeff Soto returns to NewYork with a new body of stunning work, ‘Life Cycle’ at Jonathan Levine Gallery. The work centers on the intimate themes of family andmortality through the signature lens of Soto’s fantastical figures andcolorful palette. ‘Life Cycle’ explores interest in the dynamics ofhuman familial lines and roles. Soto has replaced his tentacle armedgiant robotic creatures with those that appear more human, as in ‘LastVoyage’ where a hybrid creature has hands and feet that spill over afloating ship. This choice allows the viewers to relate more closely tothe work, seeing parts of themselves cloaked in the skins of Soto’scharacters.

“Rising”

The work also serves as a reminder of the natural cycle of life, as referenced in the title of the show. Flowers snake wildly from the eye sockets of skulls while a hooded death figure draws aside his cloak to reveal a colorful child’s toy, symbolic of birth in ‘Life Bringer.’ The inclusion of childhood symbols such as the rainbow and unicorn exist parallel to the threat of monster like creatures that slither in the wreckage of an industrial landscape or clutch and blind a skull headed butterfly. In this way, the work could almost exist happily within a children’s book. However, upon closer inspection, the subtle yet sinister thread rubs against the tender quality of the pieces. This paradox only causes a more complex and emotional texture to Soto’s work. – JL Schnabel, HF NYC

“The Seeker”

“The Seeker” detail

Jeff Soto and Logan Hicks

Logan Hicks and family

“The Last Voyage”

“The Last Voyage” detail

Eric Foss (Fuse Gallery) and Malena Seldin (JLG)

“Car Crash”

“Car Crash” detail

Esao Andrews and Jeremy Hush

“The Escape”

“The Escape” detail

“Jennifer” detail

“Mother and Father”

“Jeff” detail

“Life Bringer”

“The Sun Also Rises”

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