"Gods and Monsters" brings together the works of three artists – Folkert de Jong, John Kleckner and Andrew Mania – whose beautiful and grotesque works present alternatives to reality inspired by historical events, and the history of European art.
Folkert de Jong (b. 1972, lives/works Amsterdam) makes large scale figurative sculptural installations, using polyurethane foam, rubber, paint and wax, which are heavily influenced by, among other things, his interest in majour global conflicts, 1930s Hollywood crimes and the cinema. At the core of his interest is his fascination with human obsessions and his response to what motives the characters, which he often makes up, that populate his world of religious zealots, military generals and their followers, politicians, historical figures and sometimes just the passive bystander.
In 2003 de Jong was a finalist for the Prix de Rome for sculpture. Recent solo exhibitions include: Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam (2004); Meet me and Mister Beefy, The Netherlands Foundation for Fine Arts, Design and Architecture, Amsterdam (2003); Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2001); De Vleeshal, Middelburg, The Netherlands (2000). Group Exhibitions include: Prix de Rome 2003, Museum for Contemporary Art GEM, Den Haag; Stroomversnelling, Groninger museum, Groningen, (2002); Proeftuin, Centre for Visual Arts, Dordrecht (2002). In April 2005, De Jong will have his first solo exhibition in the UK at the Chisenhale Gallery, and his first US solo exhibition will take place at Peres Projects in the fall 2005. The exhibition of works by Folkert de Jong is generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
John Kleckner (b. 1979, lives/works Los Angeles) populates his ink and watercolour works on paper with pagan-like images of men and women wandering in lush fantasy forests. His figures, all meticulously rendered with thousands of tiny ink markings are experiencing various intense moments – orgasms, inmense loss, sensory deprivation, visions – yet they appear at peace with their surroundings and with their stark nakedness. Kleckner counts among his influences Nordic renaissance masters, and British and French botanical studies. Kleckner has recently exhibited in Retreat, Peres Projects, Los Angeles, Cave Canem, John Connelly Presents, NYC, and is currently in the exhibition "Follow Me: A Fantasy" curated by Malik Gaines at the Arena 1 Gallery in Santa Monica. His work has been reviewed in the NY Times and is in the collection of the Judith Rothschild Foundation Collection of Drawings. This is the first time that Kleckner’s works on paper are being presented in a large grouping.
Andrew Mania (b. 1972, lives/worls London) renders beautiful young people in an adoring format reminiscent of European religious icons of the 16th century. Their faces, lovingly rendered often stare directly at the viewer, but really more like if they are looking beyond us into another world, a world where their lives serve a higher purpose. These youthful visions are often floating among colorfully rendered floral elements, drips and splashes of paint, and tiddlywinks all contained in thrift store bought frames.
Andrew Mania has had solo exhibitions at Vilma Gold Gallery in London and Jack Hanley Gallery in San Franscisco. He has participated in significant group shows such as Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2000, Milton Keynes Gallery and touring (publication), The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2002 and the Pizza Express Prospects which he won in 2001. Mania will have a solo exhibition at the Chisenhale Gallery in November 2005.
For further information or visuals, please contact Javier Peres at Javier@peres-projects.com. For Press information, please contact Sarah Walzer at firstname.lastname@example.org