Wed, Mar 09|
Rama's Turkish Wellness
Paintings by Michael Elijah Wenham
See paintings by Michael Elijah Wenham at Rama's Bread this month.
Time & Location
Mar 09, 2022, 7:00 PM – Mar 31, 2022, 11:00 PM
Rama's Turkish Wellness, 211 F St, Salida, CO 81201, USA
About the event
Art expresses the ineffable and it is not complete until it is viewed.
- Thank you for helping to complete these works of art! - Michael Elijah Wenham
I have always drawn pictures and made “art”. Art school offered opportunity to explore life drawing, ceramics, bronze casting, printmaking, and much more. I gravitated away from representational art, drawing what I could see, toward “abstract” and expressionist works, drawing what I couldn’t see, but felt. Many of the intaglio prints are examples of this exploration. I also was intrigued and inspired by religious paintings, pre-enlightment era.
The triptych wood cut print, “The Passion of Saint Bernard”, is a playful work about social shaming of our desires. The dog, which we are supposed to identify with, isn’t really a Saint Bernard dog. He desires the egg, a symbol of life, but is withdrawing from the viewer because of conditioning. The snakes represents female earth energy and the natural cycles of life and death, while the forward exposed male energy symbolized by the dog, is shamed for his desire for life and natural expression. Though the repression of the feminine has been properly brought into the light and much is being done to correct this, in some ways this focus has shadowed the repression of healthy masculine energy. Many men do not know how to care for themselves or how to relate to other men except through sports and drinking beer. This work is a critique of our society that pushes us to sexualize everything and simultaneously we are taught to be ashamed for our own wants and needs.
The bronze castings, are an exploration into this “normalizing” process of teaching us to give away our oand our social expectations of male and female roles. “Heal”, which could also be titled “The Shadow of Cinderella’s Slipper” points to the baiting and traps our concepts of “Disneyfied” romantic relationships drag with them. It is purposefully dark. The hole in the field next to the shoe is meant to recall the idea of a grave. The umbilical chord coming from the being / creature has a caged shape structure around it that both relates to the grave and also to the idea that we are born into a prison of ideas and expectations. This being represents the feminine that has been sexualized and set upon a pedestal, the high heel shoe. She, like her male counterpart both are enclosed in an armored shell to protect them from ridicule and judgement.
Newer works are drawing meditations, mandalas, and symbols painted upon rocks drawn in my sketchbook. Smaller work necessitated by not having more space for larger works and also due to my more nomadic lifestyle. They are talismans and sometime I have used the stones during ceremony to assist people to connect with their feelings.
"Neural Enchantment Activation Painting #1”, was inspired to be completed (at least as it is now) by neural graphics* workshop class I recently attended in Crestone. The ideas of connecting and working out internal problems on paper resonated very much with my way of felling and creating art in general. This can be seen to have similar expressions but through differs methods of mark making in earlier abstract works, “Between When & Hasn’t Yet Become”, “Io”, “Spotted”, and “Untilitled”.