Final show at the 1300 Gallery featuring Derek Hess and Bask.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 12/08/2006 - 14:22.
12/15/2006 - 19:00
12/15/2006 - 22:00
Etc/GMT-4

Leave 'Em Wanting More #1 "Please God Save Us From Your Followers." Final show at the 1300 Gallery featuring Derek Hess and Bask.

Cleveland knows Derek Hess, but they have never seen this before.

On December 15, 2006, at the 1300 Gallery (1300 West 78th, Cleveland), visitors will witness the most provoking collection of artwork that Hess has ever produced. The "Please God Save Us From Your Followers" show will cover the walls and be the final show of the gallery.

Cleveland has always been lucky enough to get the initial peek when Hess changes his style and focus. Dating back to his first major Cleveland exhibition at the William Busta Gallery in early 1995, Hess' works and subject matter have always been powerful and personal. His art, with its unique perspectives and anatomical illustrations, combined with an emotive, introspective and spiritual subject matter have earned both critical acclaim and popular success. That success has earned Hess exhibitions on three continents and a place in prominent museums including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Louvre.

The main idea Hess rushes to explain about the "Please God Save Us From Your Followers" show, is that it is not an anti-Christian show. The exhibition is intended to explore whether the church's message of today has been hijacked by voices on the fringe. It is designed to create debate and thought that, he hopes, "will challenge the complacent and undecided."

The show's subjects will move beyond organized religion to include rock and roll, the oil industry and the environment, the evolution debate, Santa Claus and the Republican Party. There will also be a small "good guys" section, but the real villain and most prominent image within the new Hess collection is the Red Elephant. I asked Hess, if he was going to attack the policies and greed of the Republican Party, why not use images of Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush?

"Bush's last day is January 20, 2009, and I, for one, will be very grateful. But the Republican Party will still be able to inflict harm on America and the World long after W is gone. The Red Elephant seems to be a timeless villain. It allows the message behind the artwork to remain relevant."

One of the Red Elephants in the exhibition is seen as sitting on a throne of skulls while smoking a cigar. Another Red Elephant is walking in front of heavy industry. As smoke darkens the horizon, a serpent grows out of the pachyderms' trunk. Attempting to raise questions about what is behind the decisions of the Red Elephant; Hess portrays a Devil removing an Elephant mask. There are a few dead elephants in the new Hess collection. One called "Republichrist" is nailed to a cross and another image has a Darwin Fish riding atop of a floating dead Red Pachyderm that has tried to swim with the Jesus fish. Derek Hess has broken new ground and Cleveland will get the first look. On December 15th, all are invited - but beware if you're a red elephant.

Bask is the moniker of one, Ales Bask Hostomsky, who along with his parents emigrated from Czechoslovakia to Florida and began to soak up America's popular iconic imagery along with the sun. He quickly began to notice similarities between the communistic iconic propaganda from his youth and the consumer advertising of his teens. Bask soon discovered that they were simply, two sides of the same coin. Each vying for our short-lived attention spans, all the while selling us (or telling us?) anything and everything from Marxism to McDonalds. Seeking conspiracies -and finding them embedded in the popular iconography of the mass media, Bask began painting bold, media critical broadsides to assuage his fear of being manipulated. A fear cultivated in a repressive regime, had now returned, but to the most unlikely and safest of places- The American living room.

The artist's richly textural work imbue his "anti-iconic," sometimes satirical worldview with an undercurrent of dark emotion. His canvases are the city's flotsam and jetsam of industrial and consumer decay. Combining his graphic skill with his trademark multi-layered applications, Bask builds up the surface only to break down the image. "My art is a type of deconstruction," says Bask, "I try to focus on the imperfection of things, rather then their unachievable perfection."

Bask's imagery has appeared in countless publications in both advertising and editorial capacities. His work has been shown in the Florida International Museum as well as the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, which also has his work in its permanent collection. Bask has also exhibited his work in solo shows in Baltimore, Detroit, Miami and Tampa among others.

Final Show Schedule:
#1 - December 15, 7-10 - Derek Hess, Bask

Curator: Marty Gerimita
Photo Gallery:

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Early Admittance: There will be early entrance permitted from 6:00 - 7:00pm for anyone that brings a new dog toy, dry dog food or a donation made out to Place a Pet Foundation www.myspace.com/placeapet.

Sponsored by: 13hundred Gallery
Address: 1300 West 78th, Cleveland OH, 44102

Opening Reception: Friday, December 15 7:00 - 10:00pm
Exhibition Dates: Friday, December 15 7:00 - 10:00pm

More information: Martin Geramita | marty [at] strhess [dot] com | 216.281-4868

Location

13hundred Gallery
1300 West 78th
Cleveland, OH
United States