NEW YORK, NY : On Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 ABXY hosted the opening of an exhibition by emerging artist, ZEEHAN WAZED. The show, entitled “Momentum,” marks Wazed’s first major solo exhibition. Inspired by movement, synchronicity, and his own life, the show incorporates the artist’s various technical practices including painting, sculpture, dance, and creative new media (e.g. augmented reality, 3D modeling and printing). A reflection on Wazed’s fascination with concepts of momentum and relativity, for this exhibition, the artist has transformed the gallery into an entirely immersive installation designed to bring attention to the viewer’s own sense of personal momentum.
Notable attendees included: John and Laura Barker, Scott and Nancy Towbin, Austin Williamson, David Hunt, Folake Ologunja, Nataly Charria, Corey Wash, Jae Joseph, Rob Sechan, John Hanning, Malik Roberts, Vernon O’Meally, and Grave Guzman.
PAINTING: For “Momentum,” the artist unveiled a new collection of paintings. These latest works, spiraling linear abstractions, primarily executed in a palette of black, white, and gold, allude to the artist’s favorite book, “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho. An allegorical novel, The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian the shepherd on his journey to the pyramids of Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding a treasure there. Like ancient maps or swirling electrical diagrams, Wazed’s winding graphic compositions intend to bring the viewer’s awareness to their own personal journey and the pathways we forge as we move through space and time.
DANCE: Opening night, Wazed presented a work of performance art, entitled, “Last Stop.” The piece included eight dancers (including Wazed) performing the artist’s choreography to music and narrative interludes, written by Wazed in collaboration with poet Libby Mislan. Inspired by the movement of the city, for “Last Stop,” dancers will perform a series of freestyle vignettes based on scenes from the New York City the subway. Dancers can be found on Instagram @ @victoryellow ; @infinite.brynn ; @yoitsyahya ; @caradiazc ; @madd_moses
AUGMENTED REALITY: Throughout the length of the exhibition, visitors will be able to view a sampling of the choreography, which the artist has performed, filmed, and converted into augmented reality in collaboration with David Lobser, founder of Object Normal. In a multi-media process using software to track the paintings in the gallery, Wazed overlaid a virtual recording of his performance onto his own artwork. Designed to illustrate the relationship between the artist’s dance practice and his visual work, by holding the gallery’s iPad up to a given painting, visitors can watch a silhouette of the artist appears to dance across the surface of the artwork.
SCULPTURE: The sculptural work presented in the show was also designed in virtual reality. Inspired by a Frank Stella sculpture the artist admired in the home of a collector, Wazed created a series of twisting golden orbs using Google’s latest 3D modeling program Google Blocks, and an HTC Vive VR module. Blocks eases the complications associated with designing 3D objects on 2D monitors by allowing users to design 3D objects in virtual reality. Once the artist had modeled the sculptures in Google Blocks, he then brought his swirling geometric forms to life using 3D printing. The sculptures were created in collaboration with Alex Vasilyev, a senior project manager at Milgo Bufkin. Specializing in custom architecture and sculpture, Milgo Bufkin has created monumental works for artists such as Robert Indiana and Jeff Koons.