We are thrilled to present Transport Me, a dynamic two-person exhibition featuring sculptor Kat Geng and figurative painter Jon Levy-Warren. Using the once modern -and now extinct- phone booth as a central metaphor, Transport Me investigates what it means to travel to another realm, another time or another space without actually moving. Mining found-object canvasses sourced from the streets of San Francisco and the scrapyard, the artists have built a colorful collection of works: Geng with her playful repurposings and Levy-Warren with his portraits of refracted reverie; which explore objects and the power they have to carry us away. The exhibition will be on view July 14 through September 8, 2017 with an opening reception on Friday, July 14 from 5-7 pm.
Visual art, music, literature, food, film, books, television, colors, sounds, smells, drugs, and technology all act as transportation vessels with the uncanny ability to tug on our imagination and memory. But where does this leave the phone booth and other relics of outmoded virtual travel? Where do these technological fossils take us? To whom do they connect us? Are they places of nostalgia? Do they transform us into Superman? Or, like Doctor Who’s Tardis, whose police booth literally can take us anywhere in space and time? By asking these questions, Geng and Levy-Warren begin the journey of discovery, examining how free thought allows us to escape our physical surroundings.
Drawing on her transitory lifestyle, Geng’s artistic approach allows the viewer to explore her whimsical alterations and humorous point of view wherein a whole, wild universe can be accessed by stepping thru the door (or phone booth) into her creative mind. She combines found objects form a new narrative based on common associations the items hold. In so doing, she requires that her audience put forth effort as they use their imagination to travel to new and unexpected places, giving old gadgets new meaning.
Levy-Warren creates with the intention of conveying his audience out of their physical bodies and into an otherworldly setting. Through this welcomed displacement from reality to fantasy, he encourages viewers to learn to see and understand themselves from a different perspective. The figures in his compositions are characteristically staring off into space, connected to one another in the ether, yet isolated in real life. His subjects are at once physically present and absent having transcended the material world into immaterial space.
About the Artists
As an itinerant Colombian-American artist, Geng has lived in over 100 houses in the Bay Area (as well as a dozen in Massachusetts and Mexico), becoming adept at transporting her belongings. She began her professional relationship with objects while working as an art conservator in North Adams, MA and Guanajuato, MX and continues to bring them wherever she goes. Geng has shown extensively in San Francisco, CA and was awarded artist residences at The Midway Gallery in 2016 and the Vermont Studio Center in 2017. Recently, she curated Om, I’m Home, an interactive exhibition at The Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco and enjoyed a solo show at Counterpoise. She received a BA in Art History from Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY.
Levy-Warren grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as a nervous wreck. There were people everywhere. He figured out that by focusing on individuals and becoming fascinated by them, the masses of humanity and the world itself faded away. He has spent his life allowing himself to be transported into other people’s little worlds. He studied film and video making alongside drawing, painting and printmaking as an undergraduate at Princeton University. Levy-Warren lived in Brooklyn, NY and Stockholm, Sweden before beginning to bounce around the Bay Area in 2012. He continues to be inspired primarily by people and their environs. He has shown extensively at galleries in San Francisco, including the Luggage Store Gallery.