Seduction + Enchantment: Captivating ‘Orbweavers’ Exhibition Offers A Fantastical Escapism

Emerald Rose Whipple

 

An Orbweaver is a type of spider that mostly hides during the day, only to come out at night to do his intricate web building; he’s known for being particularly bloodthirsty, despite the mellifluous name.

“Inside the web, the space is well lit,” says Kari Adelaide, curator of a new exhibition that shares a name with the spider, currently at Project: ARTspace in NYC’s NoMad. “Enchantment leads to an image of a creature. This creature wears a different cloak again and again and it may dissipate altogether. The mystical state of knowledge involves feeling and perception but it is only the spider itself that is unbound.”

If that all sees a bit heady and fantastical, it is because Orbweavers does indeed bring together three rising art stars, for the purpose of exploring the arcane concepts of enchantment and fantasy through their art. Belgian Hedwig Brouckaert presents mystifyingly chaotic images that seem to be tempting the viewer to float on in and leave behind the workaday reality. While Boston born Max Razdow’s pen/ink/pencil/watercolors on paper present a sort of medieval mystical realism, seemingly rife with symbolism and narratives waiting to be untangled.

 

Hedwig Brouckaert

 

But perhaps most fascinating are the works of New York’s own Emerald Rose Whipple, whose Lindsey Wixon, Miu Miu Cats, Aphrodite Rebirth juxtaposes a bemused image of the aforementioned model with an enigmatic mountain-scape – leaving one to conceptualize the cryptic connection.

Inspirations for the show ranged as far as J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Leonard Cohen classic “So Long Marianne.”

Adelaide enthuses, “I’m inspired by Tolkien’s idea of ‘faerie,’ which he describes as a realm that deals with states of enchantment as well as self-enchantment. In Orbweavers, there’s a strong tide of seduction in the included works, but also possible entrapment, reminiscent of Cohen’s lyrics.”

And indeed, in that song Cohen writes, “I’m standing on your ledge / And your fine spider web is fastening my ankle to a stone.” Bringing us, of course, back to the spider.

Orbweavers is on view through March 7 at Project: ARTspace at 99 Madison Avenue.

 

Emerald Rose Whipple

 

Emerald Rose Whipple

 

Emerald Rose Whipple

Max Razdow

 

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