Only Home

Kevin Durkin
Curated by Jacob Mandel

Gallery Aferro, Main Gallery
February 11th – April 1st, 2017
Opening Reception February 11th, 7-10pm

Kevin Durkin creates work that centers around an abstract sense of nostalgia and memory. The work resurrects moments that may not have occurred, may never occur, but still feel vaguely familiar, landing somewhere between reality and fantasy. Years go by and the concept of home is manipulated and transformed until it can, at times, feel unrecognizable. It may no longer be a place you know, but a brief moment in time, when even a sound, or a flash of color can bring you somewhere you’ve been before.

Durkin’s work goes there and beyond, creating landscapes of places we have yet to go, but might feel just as comfortable. Having dealt with various forms of loss of the concept of a home, his work comes from the most personal of places, while at the same time bringing the viewer an undeniably universal experience.

Kevin Durkin is a multidisciplinary artist working in Newark, New Jersey. Durkin was born February 18, 1988 in Portland, Oregon. Raised in Northwestern New Jersey he went on to study graphic design at The Art Institute of Philadelphia. While there he found himself creating more conceptually, working with non-commercial themes in digital art pieces. Taking that process a step further he switched to analog, utilizing painting and drawing as a way to grant himself more freedom from the constraints of the digital medium. He has been an artist in residence at Index Art Center in Newark, New Jersey since 2014.


Respond In Kind

Jacob Mandel
Curated by Evonne M. Davis

Gallery Aferro, Liminal Gallery
February 11th – April 1st, 2017
Opening Reception February 11th, 7-10pm

Jacob Mandel’s work focuses on ideas, introspection, memory, and emotions. Through his practice he reflects on experiential phenomenon using photography as a parallel to the way we see the world. His work is influenced by a passion for the history of photography, and a constant engagement with attempting to define his perception of the world around him. Mandel believes photographic processes can be used to subvert expectations of what a photograph can or must do. Through that contradiction of purpose he believes his artwork mirrors our own understanding, and misunderstanding, of the world around us. Experimentation is crucial to Jacob’s artistic practice and pushing the boundaries of his vision is something he strives for constantly. Jacob also combines media and images, layering content, ideas, textures, and processes. This is another way in which he works to create artwork that acts as a mirror to perception while creating a type of visual poetry. Mandel feels that diversity of experience is crucial to one’s ability to empathize and understand other cultures. The layering of media and images in his work is his way of engaging in social awareness. Creating an immersive experience, walking the line between photography, installation, poetry, and illustration, Jacob illustrates his own meditations on understanding and creating one’s identity and introspective consciousness. This work, though deeply personal and specific to his life, creates an allegory for experience that isn’t tethered to one singular type of experience. Through presenting these ideas, Jacob encourages the viewer to look upon themselves and attempt to understand their own place amongst our shared reality.

Elevator Music 3: Studio Sounds

Curated by Dahlia Elsayed
Gallery Aferro, 2nd Floor Installation
October 21st – December 17th, 2016
Opening Reception October 21st 5-9pm

Visiting artists in their studios is a great pleasure for many reasons – seeing works in progress, learning about a process, hearing an artist talk about their ideas. But there is also a voyeuristic aspect to the studio visit – peeking at scribbled notes and sketches, opened books that are lying around, the sounds or smells, revealing the influences on work which may leave no trace in the finished product.

As artists we make things that go out into the world and often live in sanitized, pristine environments of galleries or institutions, disconnected from their physical space of creation. As a curator, Dahlia Elsayed is often equally interested in the conditions of the making of the work as much as the work itself. What does that studio look like? Smell like? Feel like? Sound like?
For this show Dahlia was interested in what artists listen to while working and how the soundscape of a studio might shape the work they make. The participating artists were asked to think about what they hear while working. Was there an artist/station/podcast on heavy rotation or some music they always come back to? Or is it just the ambient sounds of an environment and the sounds of making work? Is there any specific kind of soundscape conducive to working? And what do other studios sound like in different places?

The 14 artists represent a wide range of mediums and approaches, and are working in varied locations- from San Francisco to Istanbul, Brooklyn to Berlin. Elsayed wanted to bring the sounds of those studios into this intimate space, for a shared asynchronous visit to listen in on them working, to hear the invisible soundtrack behind the work we see silently months later.

Anne Louise Blechner, Copenhagen, Denmark
Suzan Batu, Istanbul, Turkey
Silvina Der-Meguerditchian, Berlin, Germany
Aiham Dib, Damascus, Syria
Shady ElNoshakty, Cairo, Egypt
Echo Eggebrecht, Pittsburgh, PA
Mitra Azar, Nomadic Practice
Lauren Kelley, New York, NY
Asuka Ohsawa, San Francisco, CA
Shaw Osha, Olympia, WA
Anne Marte Overaa, Malmo, Sweden
Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Brooklyn, NY
Michael Rodriguez, New York, NY
Vitus Shell, Monroe, LA