For Immediate Release
September 5 - 30, 2008
Opening reception: September 5, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Metropolis Gallery is pleased to present Cannibal Hearts, Brooklyn-based artist Jennifer Tong’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. The artist’s new works explore the symbiotic relationship between living things, both human and non-human, in a forest setting where shared carnal nature and emotion come alive. An opening reception for Cannibal Hearts will be held Friday, September 5, 2008, from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
For Tong, Cannibal Hearts inspires, on a general level, exploration into the universal carnal nature of all living things, and, more specifically, investigation of the characters’ interaction with and reflection of the surrounding natural world. “It alludes to the feelings of these people who are food, eating food, eating each other,” says Tong, “It could be a semi-romantic situation, or a gluttonous one.” Her depiction of “garlic nymphs” exemplifies this attitude and attention to aesthetics. The juxtaposition of the nymph characters and cloves of garlic showcase the striking similarities in form, while the stark color contrasts reveal the differences in content and emotion. Although she leaves the interpretation of her work up to the viewer, the primitive feeling of Tong’s world where instincts are Law cannot be missed.
Tong admits her palette is constantly changing as it is constantly inspired, pushing her to evolve her oil and ink paintings and to experiment with new mediums, including watercolors on toothy, skin-colored paper. Tong draws inspiration from “a vast pool” that includes literary authors like Nabokov; artists and cartoonists like Marcel Dzama and Helge Reumann; and musicians ranging from the melodic Radiohead to the calming folk songs of Joanna Newsom. Tong creates works that possess a vintage look, while her theme maintains a modern disposition and is saturated with emotion.
ABOUT THE ARTIST From Brooklyn by way of San Francisco, Jennifer Tong is one of the foremost young indie comics artists. Appearing in the second volume of the landmark Fantagraphics book "Beasts!", which has previously featured such great artists as Tim Biskup, Jeff Soto and Jeremy Fish, as well as showing in major galleries across the US, Jennifer has just begun to truly emerge. Her work recalls the indie comic innocence of Chester Brown, the outsider art creep vibe of Henry Darger, and even famed "Gnomes" illustrator Rien Poortvliet. Part of the growing webcomics movement, Jennifer was recently featured in an ongoing show celebrating the webcomics scene at The MOCCA in NYC and was part of a three person show, “Smoke From Distant Fires” in July 2008 at Lab 101 in Culver City, CA. Tong received her BFA in Cartooning from The School of Visual Arts.
About the Gallery
METROPOLIS is both a retail store and art gallery in one space featuring Mid-Century Modern Furniture, Designer Art Toys, and Modern Art. Whereas the traditional idea of an art gallery has typically been 2-D art hung on white walls and little else, METROPOLIS expands by combining good design from any medium and presenting a clearer idea of how any or all of these pieces could co-exist within one's home. METROPOLIS Gallery is located at 154 N. Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603. For more information on Metropolis Gallery, visit www.metropolis-store.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717.572.9961.