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In our so-called ‘post-truth’ society, populated with alternative facts and fake news, we’ve become increasingly aware of the illusions posed by the media, celebrities and the government. Still, truth be told, most of us don’t tolerate being lied to. We don’t like being tricked or deceived. …..Well, maybe sometimes; as when a magician crafts an illusion to avert our attention from reality, we are willingly awed and entertained. Anticipate that kind of uplifting thrill and playfulness when viewing the exhibit, Clement Kamena: ILLUSIONS, opening on April 19th at the Gilles Clement Gallery in Greenwich.
Parisians now based in Westport, CT, Serge Clement and Marina Kamena have been making collaborative art in the contemporized spirit of Renaissance ateliers for over twenty years - a prolific body of work that reflects the couple’s relentlessly dynamic, creative and visionary approach. First joining their talents to recreate ten masterpieces for the French film Rembrandt (1999), they have worked in tandem ever since, represented by and exhibited at the Allan Stone Gallery in NYC, and co-authored a book “The Joy of Art” (Abrams 2001). Featured in the current show are a diverse range of paintings, sculpture and mixed media constructions that share the theme of illusion and perspective. The results are offbeat, clever works of enormous craftsmanship that outguess the viewer. As Kamena puts it, “Illusion is a means of testifying to life, of restoring what the artists have seen, and finally making something that intensely captures reality”.
In their inventive “Jar Memory” series, iconic art works from all periods are ‘conserved’ in the form of the equally iconic Mason jar. Michelangelo’s Sybil and Jeff Koons’ Diamond are scaled and visually ‘packed’ for posterity; an illusionist act of conservation that merges the museum case and the grocery shelf. The most recent works in the series employ neon light in lieu of paint, a play on the variable perception of the color white, and the ‘disappearing act’ that light plays when switched off.
In Clement Kamena’s mixed media “Constructions”, wires, nails computer keys and a myriad of other small objects are modeled and merged to create the illusion of cities, ports and waterfronts; intricate infrastructures of roads and buildings captured from a bird’s eye view. Shimmering dabs of metallic paint morph into the glow of a nightscape and the streak of car lights.
With whimsy and impeccable skill, Clement Kamena transform reality and in turn transport the viewer to a new place, with a novel perspective that sheds light on their chosen topic or object. Caught between the skillful interplay of art and perception, we are happily wrapped in an artful web of deceit. With a wink, in the words of Pablo Picasso, “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth”.
Clement Kamena: ILLUSIONS will be on view from April 19 – May 26, 2018 at the Gilles Clement Gallery, 45 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich CT 06830.
April 19th (Thu) Opening reception 6-8 pm.
April 25th (Wed) Rendezvous with the Artists, Co-event and pre-opening of the
14th Edition of Focus on French Cinema presented by the Alliance Française of Greenwich
All events are open to the public. Gallery hours: Tue – Sat 10:30am – 6:30pm
MEDIA CONTACT: For inquiries, additional images or to arrange an interview with the artists:
Dianne Niklaus, Gallery Director
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