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Seeking Engagement NSA: Lyons Wier Gallery opens group exhibition
Jack Ceglic. Oil stick & pastel on paper, 72.25 x 49.25 in. Photo: Courtesy of Lyons Wier Gallery, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Seeking Engagement NSA (No Strings Attached), curated Beth McNeil, explores the work of eight East End Long Island based artists, Jack Ceglic, Tom Dash, Tapp Francke, Julia Greffenius, Jeff Muhs, Nika Nesgoda, Darius Yektai and Gavin Zeigler that share an intense investigation of personal identities.

Whether entering this arena via perceived or projected indefinites, each artist draws upon popular culture as a reference point to communicate their interpretations of how they view themselves when juxtaposed to the subject matter. Whether it is literally looking into a mirror, or mirroring the community, each artist seeks to engage the audience by creating a personal dialogue that is both self-reflective and self-critical. And as with any self-examination, it directly affects those around you. Therefore, we want to know what engages you? Visitors are invited, and encouraged, to leave a personal response that will we will share via social media.

Jack Ceglic approaches his work with immediacy, almost as an attack and yet he renders a tenderness in each piece. He creates candid and engaging life size portraits in oil stick and pastel on paper.

Tom Dash uses mixed media techniques to comment on social issues, music and popular culture. His collage and painted works in his “Pin Up” series project women and our contemporary culture.

Tapp Francke’s latest mirror series engages the viewer in a process of self-reflection. The neon word and mirrored background forces the viewer to reflect upon the inherent personal meaning of what’s being conveyed.

Julia Greffenius creates playful mixed media compositions of figures, landscapes, and abstraction. By exaggerating the highlights and softening the subject, her work appears illusory.

Jeff Muhs, known for his work as a painter, recently set on re-exploring his world championship background in sculpture, surprises us with “The Ol’ Dirty Bastard”. This highly realistic hand sculpted clay figure shouts hip-hop culture and iconography.

Nika Nesgoda’s Virgin series is a photographic compendium that brings elements of church-commissioned paintings by masters such as Caravaggio and Rubens to large-format color slide cibachromes of porn stars as models for The Virgin Mary, serving as “perfect” reflective surfaces for fantasy, redemption, or both.

Darius Yektai transcribes his feelings and memories into works on paper, canvas and sculpture. Yektai’s “Three Graces” reflects on the beauty, charm and creativity of masters such as Botticelli and Raphael. His figures appear ethereal as they are dropped into the abstracted composition.

Gavin Zeigler explores surface and color. In his Peep Show series, Zeigler creates an interrupted playing field of figure, form and pattern. He un-earths the beauty of the body under both subtle and bold palettes, teasing his viewers both visually and emotionally.

Each artist currently lives and works on Eastern Long Island, New York.

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