In honor of the artists of the month, the Vox Populi Gallery held a free gallery tour Oct. 21 with its featured artists and moderator Andrea Serbonich.
As a whole, the exhibit did not have a theme. The works displayed ranged from completely personal still lifes to absolutely abstract pieces showcasing the struggles of our fast-paced world. The gallery talk brought out the artists in order to explain the meaning behind their paintings and answer the questions of avid art collectors.
Throughout the gallery talk, two exhibitions stood out from the rest: Piper Brett’s “Psychic Punctum” and Wes Heiss’ “Chariot.”
Brett has been a featured artist at Vox Populi for two years, and her current exhibit deals with the concept of “Punctum,” developed by philosopher and photographer Roland Barthes in his book “Camera Lucida.” The term defines the potential “piercing” and “wounding” qualities that photographs possess. Brett’s most striking piece in “Psychic Punctum” is “Cats and Coke,” which was a print of cats and a framed bag of real cocaine. These pieces pierced Brett because these were things that kept nagging her. Brett was supposed to care for the cats while a friend moved out, but that friend skipped out of town and left her with the cats. The cocaine was something that Brett wanted to take, but only as an art. After finding a bag of cocaine on a subway platform, the cocaine persistently nagged Brett. She wanted to take the bag but obviously couldn’t. In order to appease the nagging in the back of her mind, she procured a bag of cocaine from a friend.
Wes Heiss has a master’s degree in architecture and is a visiting artist at Vox Populi. His exhibit “Chariot” is a miniature futuristic escape pod built in commercial planes for the fabulously wealthy. The piece is made from over 40 different pieces created with a 3-D printer. The piece was influenced by the quest for personal safety that came about from post-9/11 paranoia. The miniature escape pod is decked out with eject buttons, built-in toilet seats, television, and any kind of luxury that is absent from commercial flights. What makes the exhibit interesting are the red wings that envelop the walls, adding a fascist energy to the room. The rest of the exhibit is a marketing aspect selling the “Chariot,” which tells consumers that nothing is more important than their life or comfort. The exhibit as a whole asks the question: “How far are you willing to go for your own survival?”
The event took place at the North 11th Street location. These exhibits and more will be at the Vox Populi until the end of October. All the pieces showcased