In his New York City solo debut, Rob Ventura repeatedly depicts the Hyoscyamus niger flower, commonly known as Black Henbane. Through painting, drawing, and sculpture, Ventura explores Black Henbane's cultural significance, as well as its anatomical and cellular structure.
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 6 , 6:00 PM to 8:00PM 13 Monroe Street, New York, NY 10002
MEN Gallery presents Black Henbane, an exhibition by Hoboken-based artist Rob Ventura. In his New York City solo debut, Ventura continues his explorations of poisonous flowers as a visual motif for painting, drawing, and sculpture.
Hyoscyamus niger, commonly known as black henbane, is a highly toxic plant that has been historically used in the mixture of poisons, medicinal potions, and psychoactive hallucinogens. For this exhibition, Ventura displays various abstract representations of the anatomical and cellular structure of the flower, while exploring its cultural significance as a plant purportedly used to concoct “magic brews”.
The works on view incorporate oil paint, oil pastel, charcoal, ceramic, and colored pencil. The imagery varies, including poetic interpretations of floral still-life, botanical illustrations, cell diagrams, and micro photography.
Ventura investigates the fields of phytomorphology, the study of the physical and external form of plants, and phytotomy, the study of the interior structure of plants at the cellular level. This interplay between exterior and interior forms metaphorically reflects the psychoanalytic relation of the conscious to the unconscious.
Black Henbane is on view at M E N (13 Monroe Street, New York, NY 10002) from October 6th-28th, weekends 12-6PM and by appointment. For further information, please contact the gallery at [email protected] or at +1.917.719.1447. All images are subject to copyright. (Image: Black Henbane, 2018, Oil and beeswax on linen, 92 x 62 x 1.75 inches.)