Guest curated by Ruben Ireland, an artist known for his fascination with mysticism, the group show “Out of Body” premiered at San Francisco’s Gauntlet Gallery last weekend. Though not explicitly part of the theme, many of the works in the show focus on solitary figures caught in moments of reflection. Many of them monochromatic, the works in the show speak to the viewer like a hushed whisper or a prayer.
Alessandra Maria’s mixed-media drawing shows a female figure with a slight profile and downcast eyes, her head adorned with a halo of flowers. Hsiao-Ron Cheng’s (HF Vol. 24) piece shares a similar composition, except filled with vibrant color. In Cheng’s illustration, flowers obscure her androgynous protagonist’s face, as if to symbolize a state of reverie. But there is humor in the show, too. In Jenny Rome’s piece, a svelte female figure’s head is replaced with a birdcage; in, Ruben Ireland’s collaboration with Muxxi, a family of cartoony creatures surrounds a goddess-like figure with a rabbit head.
Ruben Ireland has a considerable amount of work in the show — mostly portraits of isolated figures, rendered in dark, monochromatic pigments that stand in contrast to the bare, white backgrounds. Ireland’s work speaks through its simplicity, creating impact through minimalistic compositions created with a few, selectively-chosen details.
Nicomi Nix Turner
Helen Vine and Ruben Ireland collaboration
Muxxi and Ruben Ireland collaboration