Heather James Fine Art is pleased to present “Masquerade," a special exhibition featuring the latest paintings by Peter D. Gerakaris. The artist's work engages nature-culture themes in a vibrant Post-Pop Botanic mode. Gerakaris mediates flora and fauna through a graphic, pop cultural lens while creating a collage-like illusion to express society’s fractured relationship with the environment.
Additionally inspired by travels to exotic parts of the globe, Gerakaris’ “Mask Series” sublimates elements of the human form, faces, and art historical iconography within pluralistic vignettes – a mixture that conveys the complex sensibilities of our hyper-connected world. Gerakaris describes remixing these global motifs "like a Visual DJ.” He also suggests, “I want the Mask Series to invert the notion of a mask, so I try to wrap the inner psyche on an exterior meant to conceal.” Works like “Carnival Mask” and “Junkanoo Mask” – the latter related to his recent permanent commission for the new Warwick Hotel Paradise Island (Bahamas) – blend seemingly disparate cultural icons. Tropical flora, fauna, and plumage adorn Afro-Caribbean symbols while riffing on Picasso or Stuart Davis-esque tonalities. Other masks coalesce as Neo-Baroque amalgams, referencing everything from the works of Bernini and Matisse, to the visual bombardment of contemporary digital media. On the brink of dissonance, each mask somehow coheres into a single visage conveying a full range of human emotion. The artist muses how this series mimics the “hypercoherence of our contemporary world. We live in a global society that is growing almost as wildly as nature itself.”
About the artist:
American interdisciplinary artist Peter D. Gerakaris (b. 1981, New Hampshire) earned a BFA from Cornell University in 2003 and an MFA from Hunter College in 2009 where he received the Tony Smith Prize.
Gerakaris’ kaleidoscopic paintings, installations, and origami sculptures engage nature-culture themes and are showcased in various permanent institutional collections including the National Museum of Wildlife Art (Jackson, WY), the U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies Program in Libreville, Gabon (Africa), the Schomburg Center, the Waskowmium, the Warwick Hotel (Bahamas), and Citibank, in addition to a spectrum of private collections such as Patrick McMullan, William Lim, and Beth Rudin DeWoody.
Having received distinctions such as the National Academy of Art’s Edwin Austin Abbey Fellowship and the Vermont Studio Center’s Clowes Foundation Full-Fellowship, his artwork has been exhibited around the globe at the Bronx Museum, Wave Hill, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Chinese Contemporary (Beijing), various art fairs such as Scope and the Doors (Seoul), iSolAIR (Cape Verde Islands, West Africa), the National Academy of Fine Arts, and the Mykonos Biennale, while also being featured in publications like Architectural Digest, the Financial Times, and Time Out Beijing.
Additionally, Gerakaris has created a variety of large-scale, site-specific commissions awarded by Cornell Tech, The Surrey Hotel, Bergdorf Goodman, and the Warwick Hotel Paradise Island Permanent Collection (Bahamas). He has also been awarded a large-scale public art commission to be permanently installed at PS101 (Brooklyn) in 2018 through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program.