Nov 27, 2022

Mindy Solomon Gallery

Mindy Solomon Gallery

848 NW 22 Street
Miami, FL 33127
[email protected]

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Thrush Holmes: Fuck Paradise

November 27, 2022 – January 2, 2023

Mindy Solomon is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the work of Thrush Holmes. Entitled Fuck Paradise, Holmes utilizes his candy colored floral motifs, muscle cars and female figures to present a vibrant artificial sense of the promised land.

A Toronto-based painter, Holmes explores traditional artistic themes such as landscape, still life and the figure in a wildly gestural and expressive way. Selecting a palette of high contrast colors as well as the inclusion of neon, he creates an intensity that reflects a punk sensibility. Self-taught, Holmes has crafted a consistent visual vocabulary that has become amplified as he matures, thus presenting his own iconic, signature visual language. Holmes opines:

Paradise is a concept – unattainable and fleeting. Surrendering to that conclusion is universal. Fuck it and fuck paradise. The most difficult thing is when the unimaginable and imaginable become in conflict. You want something desperately and then get it and come to realize it doesn’t change much. The energy in my work is dictated by circumstance. That unfolding affects the way in which I approach a painting, invariably. Give me a mess and I’ll renovate it, beautifully. This exhibition is comprised of personal work. I hesitate from that confrontation or proposition ordinarily. It’s easier to be removed from the ritual in some way. It feels more honest to make meaningful work – that which is not purely the result of familiar moves, executed with ease. My continued study of the motif of still life has allowed for emotional release. It’s a comfortable format for me and I’m well exercised at it. The vocabulary is in the paint. It’s all right there. In making this work, I was influenced by a particular muse. I always need that. It just makes the tragedy of it all more tolerable. This work is endurant and uniformly related to all of the others I made in the past. It represents fantasy, love, and loss. It always does. It’s just a station along the way. 

With honesty and raw emotion, Holmes has produced an exhibition that speaks to the joy and heartache of being a creative in the 21st century.

Cleon Peterson: No Place (Utopia)

November 27, 2022 – January 2, 2023

Mindy Solomon is pleased to present in collaboration with Albertz Benda Gallery, a solo exhibition of works by Cleon Peterson. In his newest show, Peterson explores the human condition and the price we pay for joy at the expense of others. Depicted in his signature graphic style, Peterson continues to challenge and engage the viewer to question their own place in the social hierarchy. Peterson writes:

As I was growing up, my grandmother told me, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” For years I thought about this trying to understand what exactly she meant.

The idea of progress drives us. The assumption deep within us is that as time marches forward, technology, science, and politics will make the world a more peaceful, just, and equitable place. Although this story we tell ourselves sounds good, it presumes that we’re all working together towards common goals denying our darker individual and tribal impulses for power and security.

Today we’re confronted with existential issues: Environmental crisis, war, displaced populations, a pandemic, technological revolution, disinformation, and inequity, to name a few.

When unbalance comes, confusion and cultural dissonance prevail. Hysteria and anger become the demagogue’s fodder—allowing despots to sway the public with false sleight-of-hand utopian promises and culture wars. Built-in is always the same problem; if it weren’t for them or this, we could have a perfect world.

Today’s victims are the powerless and marginalized and political and institutional obstacles to absolute power. We see it in language, policy, baseline human respect for one another, our freedoms, and our liberties.

And so, we again find ourselves in a time of evil. I use evil, a word more significant than good or bad. Because it’s only in times of fervor and blind idealism that people can justify this brand of action. It’s easy to be tempted into “The Road to Hell” trap when we see thinking like, “When God’s on our side, we can do no wrong.” Or, if we were to frame the same thought in ideological terms, if we’re working towards an ideal (Utopia) or trying to make the world in our image, we can do no wrong.

After all this time, you would think we would learn from our historical blunders and change for the better. Sadly the saying, “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.” continues to ring true. And how the idea of Utopia, its Greek translation being “no place,” has become a recurring nightmare.

Peterson’s oeuvre continues to evolve as society moves from one catastrophe to the next. Utilizing a minimal palette to maximum affect, his finely crafted stylized figures and landscapes put single minded focus on the subject at hand. Brutally honest, and without pretense, Peterson proves he is an artist that speaks to society with truth and integrity.

About Mindy Solomon Gallery

Mindy Solomon Gallery specializes in contemporary emerging and mid-career artists and art advisory services. The gallery represents artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, and video in both narrative and non-objective styles. The gallery program explores the intersection of art and design through an ongoing dialog between two and three-dimensional objects, while embracing diasporic voices. Utilizing the gallery space as a platform for inventive exhibitions, museum visitations, and public lectures, Solomon invites a sense of community and aesthetic enrichment.

Solomon founded the gallery in 2009 in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she established her reputation as a contemporary art dealer. She is a Board member of the Miami Art Dealers Association and is currently located in the Little River Arts District of Miami.

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