Paul Cristina – “Through Birth & Burial”

January 20th, 2018 – February 17th, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 20th at 7pm

The Child Who Thought She Was Christ, 51 x 43

Paul Cristina
The Girl Who Thought She Was Christ

charcoal, acrylic, oil, shellac and string on paper mounted to canvas
51.5″ x 43″, 2017

The seismic stages of life and how our end-goals change provides the context and energy for Through Birth & Burial, Paul Cristina’s debut solo of dense and haunting mixed media works at Booth Gallery opening January 20th, 2018.

Many people end up lost in materialism, blinded by addictive, instant gratification, while others strive to break out of systematic society, enthralled and energized by creative freedom; in one such piece, a child’s hands dissipate and blur as she flails to escape free of the canvas and become an independent entity. Cristina builds his narratively anxious compositions as if to trap the figures to the canvases they are birthed from, exhibiting how birth and death share the same point in the circle of life.

The show’s title refers to Cristina’s process, in which he takes worn and discarded materials and gives new meaning to them by reinvigorating their purpose. This assembly of densely layered images creates an allure for the works to thrive. Simultaneously built up and drawn down, like street art that has survived through weathering and human alteration, each piece expels an energy that is lost somewhere between life and death. A constant anxiety hangs over the pieces; grey figures lay trapped among pale colors, as if fighting to survive.

Cristina’s works reflect a perception of a human cycle. When we are young we are constantly absorbing information, energized by new ideas, discovery, and the potential for our futures. But as we age within a systematic society, distractions take away energy from forward momentum, and slowly dissipate our lives into purposelessness. Cristina’s process involves a symbiotic relationship of destruction and reconstruction that visualizes figures trapped in a plain world. This exhibition marks a new age of creation for him where techniques and understandings from the past are stripped down and reconfigured into more powerful imagery. Top layers are cut with knives to reveal the histories of the layers beneath.

Paul Cristina is a self-taught artist born in Cleveland, Ohio, now based in Charleston, South Carolina. Cristina has continued to develop his creative sensibilities through the study of books, film, music, people and photographic images. These sources of education continue to inform his work through the experimentation of various style and media. He has also worked several years as a paramedic, which allowed for a stark insight and investigation into the often-disturbing aspects of society and human behavior. This experience involuntarily informs the work and provokes continual contemplation toward the underbelly of life, as we know it.

The opening reception for Through Birth & Burial will be held at Booth Gallery 325 W 38th St #1, New York, NY 10018 on January 20th from 7pm to 10pm. This event is open to the public. Artist will be in attendance. The exhibition will be on view through February 17th, 2018. For inquiries, or to request a collector preview of the exhibition, please email paulboothgallery@gmail.com.

Juan Miguel Palacios – “Imbalance”

January 20th, 2018 – February 17th, 2018
Opening reception Saturday, January 20th at 7pm

30-the_hunter_wounds_XXX
“The Hunter – Wounds XXX” Mixed Media on Clear Vinyl and Drywall, 42” x 48” x 4”

Booth Gallery is delighted to announce Juan Miguel Palacios’ Imbalance, a collection highlighting social, political, and economic inequality through multifaceted artworks. In his first solo exhibition with the gallery, Palacios seeks to bear representation to the state of affairs of the modern world — what he refers to as an ‘ugly society’, a term he borrows from Noam Chomsky’s documentary “Requiem for an American Dream”.

“The point is to make people hate and fear each other and look out only for themselves, in this ‘land of inequality’ that we have to inhabit today… It’s going to be an extremely ugly society.” – Noam Chomsky regarding the concept of inequality.

Advantaged members of the society make others fear and hate each other while reaping as many benefits as possible, thereby embracing the advancement of the self at the cost of others. Palacios presents a visual commentary on the seemingly existing schism between empathy and apathy the world is experiencing.

In Palacios’ work hyenas represent the powerful transgressors of a harsh reality, while women who have or are being attacked play the role of the disadvantaged masses. In this way, the artist creates a distinct representation of predator and prey. Palacios recreates of occurrences of violence and injustice within his creations.

He begins painting on thin panels of vinyl using industrial, oil-based house paint. The vinyl is later layered over a slab of battered drywall. Palacio states, “I use a wall, hard and heavy, as a symbol of a stable structure but constant aggressions have destroyed it.” Palacios uses any means available to break the drywall: anything from a hammer to his own feet is fair game. He polishes the edges of the cavities with a blowtorch and further solidifies the damage with a polyester foam resin. Then, he returns to the vinyl painting and warps the work with paint thinner, even sometimes scratching at the image with his nails.

After the thin panel is layered over the drywall, each half having been sufficiently reworked, the processes add to each other, better representing the unique identity society itself takes on after enduring unwavering abuse. A painted skull becomes physically fractured; a painted rabid dog becomes literally damaged and unstable, only contributing to the existing lack of balance.

Juan Miguel Palacios is a Spanish born artist who was raised in a matriarchal household in Madrid. From a very young age, Palacios was encouraged by his mother and grandmother to pursue his obvious interest in painting. As a preteen, Palacios found himself in the studio of renowned Spanish painter Amadeo Roca Gisbert (a disciple of Joaquin Sorolla) and studied under him for many years. After receiving his college degree, Palacios founded the Laocoonte Art School of Madrid where he spent time teaching and focused on the development of his art career. In 2013 Palacios moved to New York City aiming to explore new ways of communicating other than through painting alone. This has led to the development of Palacio’s current body of work.

The opening reception for Imbalance will be held at Booth Gallery 325 W 38th St #1, New York, NY 10018 on January 20th, 2018 from 7pm to 10pm. This event is open to the public. Artist will be in attendance. Exhibition will be on view through February 17th, 2018. For inquiries, or to request a collector preview of the exhibition, please email paulboothgallery@gmail.com.