May 2019s Featured Art Review – “No Borders” By Alexander Zurun
After many months on hiatus we here at Circle Thrift & Art Space are elated to announce our return to Broad street and we could think of no better Featured Gallery to launch Circle with re-opening than a uniquely inspiring and mesmerizing painting series by local artist extraordinaire Mr. Alexander Zurun! An intriguing collection of personal canvas paintings from Mr. Zurun greets guests with a directionless welcome of sorts, as “reading” this gallery from any starting point may vary the visual journey, but the destination meets you all the same. The clean brush work and excellent use of bold, expressive colors atop muted backgrounds showcase a long and well practiced artistic talent from Mr. Zurun. I was glad to be able to overlook any technical aspects that may be de-immersive, and instead allow myself to be enraptured by the minimal and abstract elements and themes of the show, re-viewing the gallery with much excitement and vigor as I played around with numerous interpretations and messages. It was beautiful in its self contained purity, without overblown visual noise or gaudy celebration of the distinct visual style of Mr. Zurun’s pieces.
Almost like that of fairy tale or folk lore illustrations, the works are bold in minimal presentation yet clear and uncluttered with the visual components needed to experience the gestalt of the gallery. Mr. Zurun truly conveys a no borders, or shall I say an unrestricted, ambition to this gallery conveying themes of cosmic genesis, biblical numerology, natural and mythical symbolism, and an inversion of grandeur binding the curation of these pieces together. Throughout the pieces, a theme of light and life is interjected from painting to painting in the form of the red and orange rectangular monoliths, almost akin to the monolith from “2001 A Space Odyssey” heralding in evolution, progression, and higher metaphysical attainment. From the maternal cosmic abstraction of the solar system, the light of the heavens cascades to lower tiers on earth and spawns growth and conflict.
Our first thematic character comes in the form of the serpentine, wyrm-like figure with a trinity of bulges that almost seem to hold the creature back yet the head yearns to break free. It cannot attain its desired liberation to fully travel the stars on the rustic depiction of a space farring rocket ship. A paradigm of human ambition; the serpent has evolved from the sliver of a primordial being, to one now engorged with the celestial higher awareness, and now must reconcile the internal versus external conflict that now plagues its existence. Elsewhere the characters of the Fish and the Flower are imbued and live in harmony with the cosmic force. Seemingly still in growth and evolution, they are passive, not in control of their own agency. Perhaps in time the Fish will become more; perhaps in time the Flower will still just be. Either choice they face will make them vulnerable, yet they are still exposed as they are and reliant now of the gift of life from on high. If these two sets of thematic characters seem boring or existentially displeasing, then perhaps the character of the Phoenix that not only has a sense of agency after an endowment of higher existence, it thrives in the cycle it has become defined by.
From birth of the soul from a cosmic mother, we are to toil and find our way by struggling against our creator and ambitions, absorbing the nature of the world at the cost of succumbing to a greater existence, or fight against neither the personal nor existential and instead focus on one’s role within the cosmic cycle, this gallery makes no case against nor promotes any particular approach above the others. It instead is a gallery of hope, a gallery of perseverance, a gallery of identity and purpose, a gallery of potential. There is one simple gift we are given, that we are all given, but what we do now is undefined and up to us to decide. That is what it means to have No Borders.