“Songs of Maldoror”
September 17th – October 23rd, 2016
Opening Reception, Saturday, September 17th, 2016
*Rain will be present*
Northport, NY– Haven Gallery is pleased to present “Songs of Maldoror”, a solo show of new oil paintings by Ukrainian born artist Rain. “Songs of Maldoror” is Rain’s first solo show at the gallery and is made up of 10 paintings illustrating the novel of the same title, originally written in French as “Les Chants de Maldoror”, by writer Comte de Lautreamont, published in 1868-1869. Rain has illustrated moments depicted from the novel’s poetic cantos that represent a myriad of moments of contemplation and action by the main character, anti-hero, Maldoror. The publication itself seeks to question our true nature and contemplate our primal urges.
“Les Chants de Maldoror” is and continues to be a controversial piece of literature.; the novel’s focus is on an anti hero character, Maldoror, who’s unspeakable behaviors frequent acts of violence, depravity and cruelty. He has been likened to a fallen angel ultimately questioning humanity’s values in their most base forms as well as the creator behind the origination of man. It is a work of nihilism and controversy and has been deeply favored by the Surrealist Artists such as Salvador Dali, René Magritte, Max Ernst, André Breton amongst many others.
Rain, a contemporary surrealist painter, looks to her own dreams for inspiration as well as the shaping of her personal psyche:
“Dreams are elusive. Eroded by time, their abstractions turn to ghosts but it is here that I first drew my inspirations. From infancy, night terrors plagued my sleep and inadvertently fueled curiosity that has become my faithful companion in psychology and art.” (Rain)
The absence of moral groundwork in the subconscious often leave us with nightly journeys charting into raw and innate territory. Such ideas and actions are often dismissed as quickly as they are forgotten, despite their roots stemming from our greater consciousness. As experienced in the work of her Surrealist predecessors and “Les Chants de Maldoror”, the audience is subject to truths many would prefer to leave unearthed as their mere acknowledgement questions what we as humans potentially are and can be capable of as a species.
“This body of work aims to shake convention and reincarnate Comte de Lautreamont’s antagonist through the anarchistic corners of my own subconscious. I am Maldoror, and largely he is a part of everyone. The raw, impulsive, and very human shadows that lurk behind what we think and what we say are illuminated in this series. Lautreamont’s bizarre genius is portrayed at the expense of sanctions by the literary masses and my interpretation of his only novel is a tribute to the father of Surrealism. The beautiful eloquence of his narration starkly contrasts its grisly anecdotes that upon first glance serve as the macabre ramblings of a madman, however, upon closer inspection the philosophical implications of his tales weaved through allegorical characters expose a visionary relevant to this day…The author, artist and viewer interchangeably walking opposite sides of the same mirror.” (Rain)
In its initial publication, Les Chants de Maldoror was virtually unknown and ignored. It was not until the 1930’s when the Surrealist Artists rediscovered the text and found its dreamlike writing style and controversial questioning of morality through the use humanity at its darkest and most ethically questionable, as the precursor to their own artistic movement. Dali and Magritte are amongst a handful of artists who have found inspiration in “Les Chants de Maldoror”; Dali’s illustrations can be found in the forms of photogravure and drypoints at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The controversial content and moral questioning of de Lautreamont’s writing will continue to serve as stimuli for the creative minds of the present and future.
Rain was born in 1987 in the Ukraine and received her Bachelor’s of Art in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in NY. She is a surrealist painter known for blending illustrative tendencies with prominent works of literature and academic ideas, forming a cohesive narrative typical of old master canons that question and raise universal questions. Her work imbues a strong sense of narrative meditation calling for audience conjecture and personal contemplation. Rain works full time as a tattoo artist but spends her free time painting in oil in her Queens based studio and home.
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An opening reception will be held for the artist on Saturday, September 17th, 2016 from 6 – 8pm at Haven Gallery. Rain will be present.
Haven Gallery is located at 155 Main St., The Carriage House Square, Suite 4, in Northport, NY 11768
For additional information and images, please contact Erica Berkowitz at [email protected]