Ethan Cohen New York, New York
ABOUDIA: Born 1983 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Greg Haberny: Born 1970 in Stamford, Connecticut, USA
ABOUDIA's multi-layered paintings offer a simultaneaity of images and meanings that conduct a continuous discourse with each other and with the viewer. In any glance the eye takes in one or other layer which is soon overcome by the next. We are aware of the vivid, brutal pageant of contemporary Africa weaving before us like a fabric of consciousness – soldiers, skulls, African fetishes, flashes of street life – expressed with a naif vitality. The surfaces deploy fragments, cuttings, from bits of comic strips, magazine ads, newspaper images, set into the paintings' overall compositions so as to suggest current events cohering through the imagination into a troubled and troubling vision.
In the end though, the artist's gift of cohesion transforms chaos into vitality, painful events to esthetic redemption, so one is able to see the whole as a changeable tide forever renewing hope.
Influenced by his background in filmmaking, New York based artist Greg Haberny's goal for his installations is to transform the gallery space into an all-encompassing experience of sight and sound. The production and direction of installations echoes his personal background in filmmaking while allowing strong personal expression and freedom with all forms of artistic medium. With cultural iconography and a sardonic sense of humor, Haberny’s installations engulf and challenge viewers, exaggerating the circus-like frenzy of media and marketing of fear in contemporary American society.
Haberny produces individual pieces that he then incorporates into larger installations. His process involves cutting, scraping, and affixing painted and found elements including vintage comics, pin-up girls, and advertisements to create heavily worked pieces that retain the evidence of damage or trauma. Thus his works evoke the pained physicality of bruises and broken bones, which reflects the shattered cultural makeup of our contemporary wasteland.