Painter Rita Alves investigates coming of age in a media, violence and consumer goods-saturated society in her current work, questioning the boundaries between illusion, play and reality. In two key paintings, Alves places screens at the center of her perspectival spaces, suggesting the eerie, seductive power of television and video over a child’s developing mind. “I am thinking about the vicarious experience kids have with television and video games as well as the excess of ‘stuff’ that seems meaningless,” Alves says.
Monica Mitchell presents a present-day counterpart to the Ancient World’s Hanging Gardens of Babylon in her ultra modern constructions of found objects, duct tape, zip ties and plastic netting. Whereas Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II built the mythical Hanging Gardens for his wife to allay her longing for the green hills and valleys of her homeland, Mitchell’s Hanging Gardens are inspired by the chaos and detritus of modern life.