To Gather Paradise: Alexis Gomez & Grade Solomon

To Gather Paradise: Alexis Gomez & Grade Solomon

To Gather Paradise: Alexis Gomez & Grade Solomon

June 8 – July 30, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday, June 17, 5:00 – 7:00pm

Cody Gallery at Marymount University is pleased to present To Gather Paradise, a two-person exhibition featuring sculptural photography by Grade Solomon and sculpture with augmented reality activations by Alexis Gomez. An opening reception will be held to coincide with the first inaugural Arlington Collective Art Walk on Friday, June 17 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm. The exhibition will be on view from June 8 through July 30.

Alexis Gomez continues an exploration of the human body, including two life size sculptures in various states of repose. He invites the viewer to participate in an activation of the sculptures through augmented reality programs that can be accessed through personal cell phone cameras when pointed at the accompanying QR codes. Through the juxtaposition of these literal and metaphorical spaces, Gomez explores the relationship between the human body and mind.

Photographer Grade Solomon extends his ethereal yet haunting photographs into a three dimensional realm, displaying them either atop suspended, double-sided plywood boxes, or a shaped floor-based structure. This way, viewers are more immediately confronted with the images, forced to bring awareness into their own bodies as they navigate through the space. Solomon, like Gomez, considers the relationship of mind and body, perhaps more focused on the dream world, emotions and memory.

The exhibition’s title draws from an 1890 poem “I dwell in Possibility,” by Emily Dickinson, wherein she contemplates the merits of prose v poetry:

I dwell in Possibility –

A fairer House that Prose –

More numerous of Windows –

Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –

Impregnable of Eye –

And for an Everlasting Roof

The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –

For Occupation – This –

The spreading wide my narrow Hands

To gather Paradise –

Both Gomez and Solomon ask the viewer to gaze upon reality, which may, as a literary device, be considered prose. But, this prose is presented through a filtered lens. The subsequent visage is an altered world with the effect of poetry. It is the poetic forms that truly allow us to get at the heart of a thing and perceive nuances and possibilities that enrich our experiences in reality. Through this exhibition, viewers are asked to open their eyes and minds to these altered ways of looking and thinking, allowing them, as Dickinson notes, “to gather paradise”.

Alexis Gomez was born in 1994 in Fairfax, Virginia. He received his BFA from the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at the George Washington University in 2016. He’s had group shows at Taubman Museum of Art, The Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, DC Arts Center, and Transformer DC among many others. His work has been featured in The Washington Post, Whurk Magazine, and Northern Virginia Magazine. Gomez is currently working on augmented reality sculptures and designing virtual reality experiences. Gomez’s work investigates the internal and external spaces we inhabit as human beings. Using illusionistic patterns and figural forms to represent both literal and metaphorical space, he creates settings that bridge the physical and virtual realms. Alternating between 3D modeling software and figural sculpture his work fluxes between the tangible and artificial.

Grade Solomon is a Korean-American, fine art photographer currently based in Richmond, Virginia. He received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2022.  His work explores the emotions tied to color through conceptual landscapes and dreamlike portraits. Often his images feature mundane but captivating subject matter found throughout suburban & industrial America placed at night. Through his images, Grade creates his own depiction of reality rather than attempting to represent it. Taking inspiration from recurring dreams, distant memories, and emotional experiences such as love, loss, and discomfort. Solomon is currently a finalist in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and his work is on view in The Outwin: American Portraiture Today at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

Cody Gallery of Marymount University is located at 1000 North Glebe Road, 2nd Floor. Street parking and Capital Bikeshare are available. The gallery is located near the Metroline Orange: Ballston-MU.

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