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Not Mirrors, Portals


14 July 2021 (New Orleans, LA) JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is pleased to announce Not Mirrors, Portals, a solo exhibition by Sante Fe-based painter and sculptor Jenny Day. Created using various materials such as: acrylic paint, colored pencil, paint pen, Flashe, and spray paint, DAY’s surrealist paintings encapsulate fierce apocalyptic landscapes and scenes. Her sculptures leave the viewer in a hypnogogic state as animals are enveloped and transformed by flowers, mushrooms, rainbows, and the surfaces of the stoneware vessels they emerge from. Day gracefully captures the violence and chaos of the natural world’s place in the anthropocene while treating her subject matter with an uncommon reverence and sensitivity. 

In past work I recreated place and infused it with memory; a snowy forest or vast horizon line overshadowed by environmental damage and marked by abstraction. After a tumultuous year, I find myself dreaming of the apocalyptic, four horsemen, frogs falling from the sky, the sea parting in triumphant arcs. In this work, memory is permeated with nostalgia to the point of corruption. A landscape singed and burning, animals fleeing, soaring and independent, their entities are barely tethered to the underlying structures. A rabbit crushes blistered tulips and flamingos erupt into rainbow-drenched lily pads. The sentiment overripe and romanticized, useless. Flowers grow into fur, fires emerge in snow, a grotesque glimpse into a world gone wrong grows into leaping, looming celebration.

In this place, a longing for before still exists, addictive and powerful. Time slows to a halt. The moment before a house explodes frozen as a coyote bounds over a mirage, squirrels fall through the sky and ships collide, pandas forage for food in a landscape as red as a new planet, a herculean effort to survive no matter what it takes. Movement begins in and transcends the current chaos and devolution.

This other world not a mirror but a portal. Resilience evolved, mutated. Here, in this made up place, the most horrendous things are overcome. Grief is met with bejeweled stallions, beat up trucks tear through the sky into far off sunsets, and rams pound information back together, bit by bit, new, ancient, heroic. The unfathomable transforms into something reborn, something hopeful.

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Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

Features monthly exhibitions of contemporary, (inter)national, emerging to established artists. Located in the heart of the Arts District of New Orleans, the gallery hosts opening receptions on the first Saturday of...