Four steps to self-help: color therapy

MAY 27 - JULY 2017 // Small Editions, Brooklyn

Small Editions is pleased to present Four Steps to Self-Help: Color Therapy, a group exhibition curated by Alt Esc, featuring the works of Aliza Morell, Calli Moore, Nicole Ruggiero, and Evie Falci. The exhibition is the last show of Alt Esc's three part residency at Small Editions. 

Color is light and energy. Our body and mind are energy, vibrations, and frequencies. All are interconnected within the framework of our perceptive surroundings. Color enters through our eyes and skin, affecting our emotions, moods, and mental state of being - it is the overlooked factor of how we can maintain balance and control.

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung elucidated the human temperament into four color groups, each having its own counterpart in nature: Cool Blue (sky and sea), Earth and Green, Sunshine Yellow, and Fiery Red. We all possess each color within ourselves, allowing for a fluidity of energy, but it’s up to us to maintain the balance. Pinpointing our personal colors will help reassess our identity, improve development and interpersonal relationships, and re-define our strengths and weaknesses.

Colors come with their often predetermined symbolic associations, but when applied correctly, they can really stimulate your spirit and surroundings. Purple can signify luxury, yellow whimsy, green nurture and nature, blue calm, black power. Baker-Miller pink is known to reduce hostility and violence and has been used in correctional facilities to create a calming environment.

Using color as a unifier, the artwork in the exhibition allows us to pause, escape the routine of daily life, and reflect inward. The title, Four Steps to Self-Help, explains the design of the exhibition. Each artist represents a sequential benchmark in the process. The program includes four artists/collectives and is outlined in  four chapters: a multi-sensory effect, the transference of energy, the sanctuary, and submitting to our indulgences.

Aliza Morell’s recent work meditates on the simultaneous phenomenon of color as light and color as material. She creates multi-sensory surfaces through the process of erasure into wet gradients of color, shaping optical forms through color-fields. Part of an ongoing series, each painting on view features a central three-loop form of variant, vaguely floral shapes that span from exuberant to wilted postures.The application and interaction of color joins opticality with touch, creating a Multi-Sensory Effect. Reflective of the meditative process and the mythic characteristics of her art, Evie Falci’s work illustrates a higher understanding of Transference. She composites intricate patterns with small beads and rhinestones, creating “paintings” that  expand into ornate constructions; a single bead transforms and becomes part of a more complex whole. Calli Moore explores Indulgence in her tactile, lush, and overabundant wall sculptures. She navigates the color spectrum from industrial shades of gasoline to pastels, confronting the viewer with a vibrant sensory display that you want to absorb and touch.

Only on view for the opening reception, Nicole Ruggiero, Jeremy McKeehen, Prashast Thapan, and Michelle Cortese created an intimate glimpse into a domestic space via a virtual reality experience. The game navigates the surface comforts of a nostalgia-filled environment and imbibe the repose of the familiar. The piece represents a need to construct, explore, and (even) destroy sanctuaries outside of our pre-existing realities in order to escape the often unavoidable chaos.

About the Artists

Aliza Morell lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She holds an MFA from Rutgers University (2014) and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2005). Her solo exhibition Wellspring is currently on view at Popular Kids in Portland. OR. She’s been featured in recent group shows at Tempus Projects in Tampa, FL; Castor Gallery and Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York, NY; and Elijah Wheat Showroom and Trestle Projects in Brooklyn, NY. Noteworthy publications include New American Paintings Northeast No. 128 (2017) and No. 110 (2014), and an interview ALT ESC in Volume 6 of our digital platform.

Evie Falci (b. 1985) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.  She is a 2007 graduate of the Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland. She participated in the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program in 2011 – 2012.  She has had solo/ two-person shows shows at Castor Gallery, Jeff Bailey Gallery, and the The Lodge Gallery. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions at various venues, including, The Hole, Eric Firestone Gallery, and The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.

Calli Moore is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work deals with the physicality of paint as both material and form.  Incorporating a variety of materials into her practice, Moore’s abstract pieces extend the vocabulary of painting by experimenting with different techniques of mark-making within the pictorial frame. An Iowa native, Moore received her BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Iowa in 2014, continuing on to American University where she earned her MFA in 2016.  Moore has shown work across the United States and has held residencies at GlogauAIR , Berlin (2015) and at the Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, NY (2016). Most recently, Moore’s work was included in group exhibitions in Los Angeles and New York.

Nicole Ruggiero is a 3-D visual artist who makes work based on the internet and online trends. Nicole exposes the influences that technology imbues on culture and subverts them with the existential feelings people face when interacting through the medium. She emphasizes the social conditioning of the internet by expressing emotion through figurative themes such as the consequences of technology and resultant online culture. Her art is a beacon of that culture and a forum of discussion for people around the world. Her piece was created in collaboration with Jeremy McKeehan, Prash Thapan, Michelle Cortese, and Calvin Hunting.

Jeremy McKeehen (@jmckeehen) is an art director and motion designer who creates experiential pieces while bringing clients’ visions to fruition. His work uses powerful and thought-provoking themes surrounding human emotion, technology, and the infinite. By painting a moving picture for viewers, he develops unique worlds in which they are free, as well as encouraged, to become completely lost in. With a cornucopia of colors and a rainbow assault on the retina, he aims to expand human consciousness and provoke the primal.

Prashast Thapan is an Indian video game designer whose work focuses on escapism. He works in television in New York City.

Michelle Cortese is a Toronto-born designer, maker, futurist, and typophile. Her background is a twisted medley of interface design, art direction, physical computing, fabrication, VR, and graphics programming. Her work navigates the intersection of digital and material worlds, focusing on designing and developing next-generation user interfaces. Michelle is currently a senior design technologist at Refinery29 and has exhibited work at CES, Tribeca Film Festival, Engadget Expand via Make Magazine, Sundance Film Festival, Absolut Nights, Moogfest, BLDG92, and more.

Calvin Hunting Pia is a Brooklyn-based sound designer, mixer and composer. Currently a lead mixer at the audio post-house One Thousand Birds in New York, Calvin shapes and weaves sound to help tell stories for film, TV, web, and VR. His recent work includes Morgan Miller’s twisted animated showdown "There's Too Many Of These Crows,” William Thompson's surreal spiritual journey "Horn,” and artist Jordan Wolfson's VR piece "Real Violence" part of  the Whitney Biennial.