Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Robot Nation: Chris Herres at Moonstorm Gallery.

[One of the most dreaded requests I face is when someone I know asks me to come by and see/maybe review a blood relative's  work. So when Jay Herres asked me to come to the opening of his son's show at his Moonstorm gallery, I agreed with the usual trepidation.]

Chris Herres' Robot Nation one man show at his father's Moonstorm gallery is a series of prints, both linoleum and woodcut. The theme, a popular one these days, is explored in a pluralistic, non-literal manner.

Wood cut by Chris Herres

In the woodcut above, we see some Babylonian/Egyptian perspective (specially in the car/road on the lowee right. The division of the urbanscape into layers. There are figures in a playground in the foreground, vehicles on the periphery, water, roads, homes factories, more trees, then mountains and the sun, radiant above all.

Linocut by Chris Herres

 There were no visible tags on the works, though the titles were along the lower edge. Regrettably, they're unreadable in my photographs. In the work above, sociopolitical aspects of the process of robotization are expressed in form of an Uncle Sam wired to children wearing monitors/TVs for heads. The screens literally show a broken heart, death, lies, doubt and fear, and war. This is what is injected into our children's heads.  There's a machine in the back providing power, with dials, running wires to the Uncle Sam figure and in turn to the children figures.

Linocut by Chris Herres

In the work above, a young girl stands in the center, middle ground, holding a heart and lucky 3 leaf clover. She is in an idyllic natural setting, on a flowered road, surrounded by flowers, birds, and peacocks. She is in a style reminiscent of many Alice in Wonderland illustrations. Behind her looms a high, ominous wall of factories with chimneys belching black smoke, and notice the pipes coming forward from the bottom of the factories sucking the life out of everything. The artist tells me the girl is his daughter.

Chris Herres with his work.
Congratulations to Chris Herre and Moonstorm Gallery for a good show.

--- Luis Gottardi

This show will be up through October. Moonstorm is at 645 Central Ave., St. Pete. 


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