press release

Taken from the title of Nigerian author Amos Tutuola’s 1954 novel My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, a surreal tale of the fate of mortals who stray into the world of ghosts as told from the point of view of a five year old boy, this group exhibition links three contemporary artists whose works conflate personal, visionary and mythic storytelling. Like the book, which has a hallucinogenic, broken narrative of eerie poeticism, the paintings and sculptures by Nathan Mabry, Djordje Ozbolt and Francis Upritchard, slither towards primal, transcendent legends and auspicious provocations.

Nathan Mabry draws inspiration from a variety of sources including archaeology, Dadaism, surrealism and minimalism. He purposefully embraces different stylistic associations and makes references across the art historical timeline; in his own words, he “crashes” multiple aesthetics together. Mabry will present a new Process Art sculpture combining a ready-made, bronze, faux-Remington The Mountain Man with an altered Halloween mask, cast in bronze.

Djordje Ozbolt is also an artist that works with a range of sources and starting points for his paintings and sculptures. Self-described as having a “restless” artistic process, Ozbolt’s work is simultaneously dark and humorous, reverent and charged. Paintings for this exhibition include such vibrant works as the tondo Don't Look Back (George Washington) (2009), a Cheshire Cat-esque portrait of Washington, faintly fully rendered yet with floating eyes and a toothy grin.

Francis Upritchard employs carefully handcrafted sculptures and found objects to create tableaux with open yet suggestive narrative. The Horse (2010) is a sculpture of a painted plaid man, naked except for his camouflage that matches the fabric on which he sits, placed on a found gymnastic horse. At once complex in meaning and playful through scale and color, Upritchard’s practice allows for provocative and unexpected objects to mingle within archetypical stories that range from the humorous to the historical to the mystical.

Bush of Ghosts
Nathan Mabry, Djordje Ozbolt, Francis Upritchard