Here Be Monsters: An Abridged Beastiary of Contemporary Monsters Both Real and Imaginary

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Mar 1, 2007 - Mar 30, 2007

A cacophony of beasties is about to be unleashed at Flanders 311 with this aptly named show. The exhibition takes a cue from the bestiaries of 12th-century England, which were allegorical works encompassing descriptions of all sorts of creatures of the time, both real and imagined. A key feature of the bestiaries was not only their attention to physical detail but also a proselytizing ability to mine the depths of both the psyche and the primal, putting forth signs that were simultaneously moralizing and cautionary.

The artists at Flanders have taken up this contemporary call of the wild and explore these themes and their manifestations in our present moment, utilizing a wide variety of media and styles. Many pieces in the show take a literal approach such as the chimera paintings of Asya Dodina and Slava Polischuk, and Julie Armbruster's mixed media cartoon gremlins. But there are also more enigmatic works like Alison Overton's hand-toned photograph of a surreal, gnarly landscape that dwells more in the mysterious and magical. These works will challenge your own preconceptions about what monsters might be and do in our own day and age, but they leave no doubt about our continuing fascination both with creatures of the external world and our own demons within. —Dave Delcambre

For this exhibit, sixteen artists were asked to contribute works that examined the theme of modern-day threats.  Entries span from sober, abstract concepts like war and hate to new forms of chimeras born of sheer imagination.  These works offer a slice of western society’s fears and fascinations that proves every bit as engaging as the griffins and sphinxes of yore.
 
Participating artists include Julie Armbruster, Owen Beckmann, Gigi Chen, Asya Dodina, David Eichenberger, Seth Ellis, Fort Grunt, Paul Friedrich, André Leon Gray, David Isele, Alison Overton, Slava Polischuk, Shaun Richards, Anthony Santella, and Megan Sullivan.   

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