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Miraculous: Contemporary Exvotos Paintings

December 10, 2003 - January 5, 2004
Closing Reception: Monday, January 5th, 6-9 pm

This exhibition will comprise of contemporary artists' paintings that depict their personal extra-ordinary and "miraculous" experiences, loosely following the illustrative form of traditional Mexican exvotos paintings on tin. Living in a time when real life is permeated on a daily basis by reality tv, magic realism, instant messenging, news of the weird, mass media caricaturizations, geopolitical and religious upheaval, and other seeming irrationalities, Miraculous: Contemporary Exvotos Paintings cites the "mundane extraordinary" occurrences that ultimately shape individual conceptions of faith and truths, here realized in art.

Exvotos most commonly refers to a form of Mexican religious folk painting popularized in the latter 19th century that served as a visual testimony of a real, "miraculous event" that has occurred or as a commemoration of a blessing received - often a life-saving or near death experience. The word itself translates from the Spanish as "votive offering," or literally from the Latin as "dedicated gifts" or "out of a promise or vow." Exvotos were usually painted on tin or sheet metal by untrained individuals as well as artisans and local artists. Generally around a foot or less in length, they often contain a detailed textual description of the event and an explanation of why the donor (this can be the artist or someone else who has commissioned the work) is giving thanks.

It is not uncommon to see exvotos paintings inside Mexican churches or on domestic altars. At Frida Kahlo's house in Mexico City, the artist and her husband Diego Rivera had devoted, hanging from floor to ceiling, an entire room to their collection of miracle paintings.

Artists include: Thierry Alet, Michel Alexis, Markus Baenziger, Shelly Bahl, Chris Ballantyne, Jackie Battenfield, Bart Berggren, Mary Walling Blackburn, Jean Boggs, Melissa Bruzera, Julie Castellano, Robin Clark, Christin Couture, Elisa Decker, Renee Devine, Rodney Dickson, Aimee Pflieger Dolby, Scott Durkin, J. Antonio Farfan, George Ferrandi, Chantel Foretich, Christopher Frederick, Emily Gear, Jerelyn Hanrahan, Kate Hoffman, Jeffrey Scott Holland, David Humphrey, Hawley Hussey, Shelley Jackson, Jennifer Kobylarz, Bart de Koning Gans, Benjamin La Rocco, Nate Larson, Paul Laster, Dominick Lombardi, Miguel Luciano, Dimitrios Lykoudis, Ann Mansolino, Jackson McDade, Jillian McDonald, Diane Meyer, Elizabeth Mikesell, Scott Myers, Buxton Midyette, Patricia Miranda, Cindy Moore, Leo Morrissey, Holly Murray, Kim Nguyen, Neysa Page-Lieberman, Lance Paladino, Eduardo Alexander Rabel, Reynolds, Elana Rubinfeld, Skip Shea, Brady Smith, Melissa Staiger, Sara Stracey, Suicide Pants, Chanika Svetvilas, Susan Thomas, Jaret Vadera, Antonio Vigil, Townsend West, Charmaine Wheatley, Eric Wheeler, and Edwina White.

Trong G. Nguyen is a curator and artist working and living in Brooklyn. Nguyen was also the former Associate Director at Zabriskie Gallery. Recently, in 2002, he started Humanitarians Not Heroes, a project that incorporates art concept, applied design, fashion, and socio-politics through channels of mass consumption and traditional retail. chezTGN is an initiative that Nguyen hopes will bring attention to promising artists and interesting curatorial directives, while luring visitors to the lovely neighborhood of Red Hook.

Exhibition is free and open to the public. For hours/days and more information, please contact Trong G. Nguyen at 718-797-1645 or email.