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Pulling Off All the Old Masks Just to See the Flowers Bloom Again
Caza Sikes Gallery,
Cincinatti, OH 2018
The show consisted of eight large works meant to be viewed in a specific order, as the central subject in each, a monk, makes a journey of self-discovery through the lens of the ancient Indian chakra system, in which understanding connections between the mind and body can lessen suffering and lead to states of spiritual well-being. In the series, the common elements include the monk, a man and a woman in stylized evening clothes carrying facemasks, the houses of a city, flowers, and birds. The elements contribute to the narrative running through the works, the story of the monk’s journey to enlightenment.
Artist Statement : In life, we accumulate masks and armor to protect ourselves from the demons of fear, shame, guilt and grief. This creates false personas and traps us in suffering.
In the ancient Indian tradition, an esoteric system was developed to help people overcome their suffering. This is called the Chakra system and it posits that human life exists in two parallel dimensions; the physical body, and the psychological, emotional and spiritual body.
This art exhibit explores the journey of the chakra system, a guide to helping us remember that we are all on a journey towards our true self. By pulling off our masks, our true self emerges holding the flowers of love and compassion.
Art critic Danielle Burr for Aquai remarked, "Taken on their own terms, Taylor’s paintings demonstrate astonishing use of color and, at times, mesmerizing compositions. In “Ikimasho,” the beginning of the series, the monk is alone on the canvas. He is dressed in brilliant gold, set off by the deep blue of the trim and his hat and the red and green background. The composition is a series of repeated geometric shapes. The angular face and body of the monk and the parallel lines formed by his staff and the basket on his back create one pattern. The circular design in the monk’s robe, repeated in the round flowers, the bird, and the curved line where the earth meets the sky, create another. In this work, Taylor’s naïve style of representation is wonderfully offset by the drama of his color scheme and the sophistication of his composition."
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