Haven Gallery is pleased to present “Between Realms” a solo exhibition of photography and drawings by New York artist Nicolas Bruno. “Between Realms” is Bruno’s first solo show with the gallery and will include nine photographs, five embellished works and three drawings. “Between Realms” features a collection of images transmuted from Bruno’s dreams as a means of coping and controlling his sleep paralysis affliction. Through this visual means of confrontation and self-possession, Bruno quells these fears while simultaneously sharing these familiar emotions of anxiety, suspense, uncertainty and danger. Sentiments that plague all cognitive beings in both the realm of dreams as well as reality.
Bruno has been experiencing sleep paralysis for nearly ten years. Sleep paralysis is a common phenomenon occurring in between wakefulness and sleep, in which the body becomes immobile. This realization of inescapability causes the individual to become plagued by terror laden hallucinations. These frightening experiences infect the senses yet the ability to move or escape is not possible as the body itself remains frozen throughout the episode. Through the advice of a teacher, Bruno found a means of subduing the hauntings of his night terrors through creative expression. Recreating scenes from his hallucinations has allowed him to seize control of the danger and confront his antagonists on his own terms.
Growing up in a waterside town, Bruno’s images are influenced by memories of spending time by the sea, in the marshlands and amidst sprawling fields. His Italian heritage inspires his choice in titles while his admiration of art history plants subliminal seeds of artist tributes throughout his imagery. Nostalgia thinly laces his visions and imagery as darker embodiments of entrapment, being chased and secrecy bespeak a more prevailing role. Symbolism, dualities and the reoccurring motifs of obstructed vision, anonymity and being hunted dominate much of his work. Yet traces of hope and liberation can be noted as well. A sense of ambiguity subsists amongst these plagues of anxiety through the binary association of Bruno’s most archetypal elements. The water which bounds also saves; the ladders which lose much of their function while underwater still allow for ascension. A favorable reminder that even in the darkest of moments, hope and possibility lurk in the recesses of the harrowing.
ABOUT NICOLAS BRUNO
Nicolas Bruno studied at Purchase College of New York, where he received his BFA in Photography in 2015. His studio practice is based in Northport, New York, where he photographs and fabricates props for his compositions. Bruno weaves together his terrifying experiences of Sleep Paralysis with surreal self portraiture in a therapeutic translation of night terror to image. His constructed worlds of uncertainty exist on plane between waking and sleeping, where he is tormented by a physical embrace of the subconscious and its perils, all while being paralyzed in bed. Influences of 19th century Romanticists, historical texts of occultism, and dream symbology lace each composition with various visual dialogues of the macabre.