"Visitors from the East"

Exhibition: October 29 - December 3, 2005
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 29th, from 7 to 10pm

Curated by Katherine Chapin & Alix Sloan. Featuring works by Amy Bennett, Juliette Borda, John Bowman, Melissa Brown,
Peter Drake, Elliott Green, Julie Heffernan, Pahl Hluchan, Catherine Howe, David Humphrey, Kate Javens, Judith Schaechter & Thomas Woodruff.

Curators' Statement

As with any group show, there are countless directions a curator can go and countless fantastic artists one can choose to include. “Visitors from the East” is not intended to be an exhibition of everything that is happening in and around New York today. It is a small sampling of works by a selection of specifically representational artists who share a high level of skill, an interest in the human experience, and a taste for the off-center.

There has been much talk over the past several years of the return to painting and to representational, narrative and figurative work. But in truth there are many talented, exciting, and successful artists who never shied away from these ideas to begin with. While the artists we’ve selected for this show might take an interest in high-concept, abstract, and digital work, might have studied and even explored these areas themselves, at heart they are interested in taking hand to paper, canvas, and board.

Each artist in “Visitors from the East” also exhibits a passion for skill and craftsmanship and continues to develop in these areas over time. This commitment to facility allows them the freedom to create as they choose, and to express their concepts, ideas, and feelings without constraints. With this high level of ability, they can successfully produce powerful works that run the gamut from the seemingly spontaneous to the intensely fastidious.

Taking on the conventions of representational art - interiors, still life, narratives, animals, landscapes, and portraiture - the “Visitors from the East” artists infuse their paintings with inspirations from the world of dreams, the supernatural, memory, and pure imagination. Even the most serious topics, such as politics, religion, alienation, identity, and our environment, are addressed with a wonderfully human sensibility. These artists aren’t afraid of the ironic, fantastic or morose. They embrace the full spectrum of human emotions, and create works that not only make you think, they make you feel.

Well known for his long-standing interest in and support of emerging artists, as well as those outside the mainstream, Billy Shire has been exhibiting, collecting, and championing high quality representational works with an edge for over two decades. It is with great pleasure that we have brought this group of artists together at Billy Shire Fine Arts.

Katherine Chapin and Alix Sloan