Opening Reception: Monday, September 21, 6-9pm
Presented by Studio Vendome in collaboration with Beez and Honey
URI dotan has been obsessed for years with the story of pinocchio, the wooden marionette who yearns to be a real boy. in this focused group of drawings and paintings, dotan explores some of the themes and issues that have long fascinated him about pinocchio, both the character and the story. for well over a century, hundreds of millions of people in many countries have also been caught in the grip of this universal tale of metamorphosis and coming of age, with its many facets--moral, psychological, even spiritual. in addition to the ever-present book, written over 130 years ago, the iconic disney movie still captures the imagination of every child.
As in the story, dotan’s pinocchio has a nose that is prominent. his clothing and environment are filled with projections that look like his nose, but may also be construed as phalluses , arrows, or paint brushes. in both the black and white paintings and the works in bright colors against abstract backgrounds and figurative symbols, dotan's pinocchios are somnambulists . they are caught in limbo between two states of being--perhaps a perpetual purgatory, where sins are being expiated, perhaps a state of metamorphosis. this limbo state is akin to that of a fetus in the womb, potential, but not yet alive, suggesting an analogy with the wooden marionette who finally experiences redemption and rebirth as a living, breathing boy. while dotan's work does not explore specifically religious themes, it is generally agreed that carlo collodi, the author of pinocchio, was a freemason, and thus, that spiritual and mystical ideas were deeply imbedded in his fable.
Alive, present in a world within a world, a kind of sleep-waking or wake-sleeping, the pinocchio in the paintings harkens back to uri’s earlier dreamlike character in his 2001 piece, "activation ". in that piece, we see the nodding head of a female character from the future, as pinocchio is one of the past; like him, she is in a perpetual state of rest, eyes closed, a dream world where waking is anticipated but never quite achieved. this series is about the world of constant change we live in;it explores transitions between different worlds and states of being, whether "real" or symbolic, literal or abstract, from unconscious block of wood to a human with moral consciousness.
The opening night party will involve a collaborative performance with attendees. we will try to put ourselves in pinocchio’s shoes and experience what it feels like to make the transition from one form of existence to another--to wear a mask and then drop it, and to feel the consequences of lying and negative thoughts on our bodies. the interaction of psyche and soma is integral to the pinocchio story, and we will try to experience some of that process via our imagination.
URI dotan has exhibited at many galleries and museums in north america, europe, asia, and israel. he was a pioneer in the field of digital art, and his work has had much influence both here and abroad. Dotan lives in New York City and tel aviv.
For further information and/or images, please call 212.675.3303 ext 100 OR email: nicollette@beezandhoney.com