random thoughts & reviews
Artist: COBI MOULES
Exhibition: "Bois Just Wanna Have Fun"
October 10 - November 9th, 2013
Opening Reception: Thurs, Oct 10th (6-8pm)
Lyons Wier Gallery
542 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lyons Wier Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition for Cobi Moules, "Bois Just Wanna Have Fun." Driven by the desire for adventure and discovery, Cobi Moules set out across America not only to explore the country's natural beauty and diversity, but also to reflect upon his position within it. Moules' study of the grand American landscape quickly conjures up images and iconography from a plethora of historical landscape paintings, most notably mid-19th century American landscape paintings.
Loosely utilizing the Hudson River School as a visual point of departure, Moules metaphorically utilizes the landscape as a stand-in for his own Christian upbringing. "Bois Just Wanna Have Fun" is a synthesis of wanderlust and raison d'etre, where he creates a fantasy world in which only he exists. His compositions contain a multitude of self-portraits and narratives, each coexisting to create a parallel and/or alternate plane that invokes a sense of excitement, self-worth and play. Through the multiplication and overwhelming presence of his 'self' within the paintings, Moules takes precedence over the landscape, fully integrating himself into an art historical lexicon that typically exemplifies the insignificance of the individual and the manifestation of God.
Moules states, "I see a number of ideological links between their [Hudson River School] works and a specific current American Christian culture that was an integral part of my formative years; particularly in regards to ideas of purity and the honor of sacrificing one's selfhood for the glory of God. As a queer and transgender person, I seek to renegotiate my relationship with this upbringing and the act of being told I am 'unnatural' through such a pointed Christian lens."
Moules deftly manipulates the visual trope of traditional landscape painting as a way of seeking inclusion, creating a utopian space for his personal significance and queer identity. He embraces the beauty of nature while shifting its weight through the exaltation of his own existence within it. The importance becomes the experiences of his multiples and their overall existence in the landscape - each engaging in different activities, exploring their [his] presence within nature, and ultimately becoming whole.
Cobi Moules received an MFA in 2010 from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. Recent awards include the SMFA Traveling Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, Blanche E. Colman Award, Joan Mitchell MFA Grant and SFAI Artist in Residence, Art Santa Fe, NM. His work has been exhibited nationally including the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, ME, Wesleyan College, WV, Platform Gallery, Seattle, WA, CUE New York, NY, Foster Gallery, Dedham, MA, and Carroll and Sons Gallery, Boston, MA. He lives and works in Boston, MA
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