Pulchritude, a word that sounds ugly, means beauty. Monica Banks' latest series of porcelain confections and celebratory cakes embrace this paradox. Rendered in sumptuous pastel hues, her ceramic monuments to domesticity examine ugliness, tragedy, creepiness and asymmetry, qualities that beauty must inherently contain in order to be deeper and more meaningful than mere “prettiness”. As usual, Banks’ reflections on problems in the world at large inform her depiction of tiny figures within and on top of the confections. Banks gives these disenfranchised creatures attention they would not otherwise receive. She has said, “All moments deserve a tribute, whether those moments are hopeful or tragic.” Her cakes continue to serve as empathic memorials honoring animals and humans, as well as objects and mythical characters.
Paton Miller’s oil paintings depict ordinary scenes enhanced by his unique inventiveness. Inspired by world travel, as well as domesticity and family life, Miller employs an earthy, neutral pallet, reinforcing his connection to nature and the outdoors. Human figures, as well as animals and invented “species”, populate his canvases. These subjects bring to life Miller's allegorical narratives that reference other places in other times. Several motifs appear repeatedly in his works: waves depicted as triangular blocks of color, mules and other animals carrying objects on their backs, boats, water and exotic foreign landscapes. When Miller travels, he paints the people he meets as a way to get to know them.
Monica Banks lives and works in East Hampton, NY. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Parrish Art Museum, The Islip Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art at U Mass, Amherst, and The Catherine Konner Sculpture Park. She has exhibited at White Box, the Center for Architecture in NYC, The Carriage House at the Islip Art Museum, the Heckscher Art Museum, among other venues. She created “ Faces: Times Square,” a block-long sculpture which stood in Times Square from 1996-2009, for which she won an award from the NYC Public Design Commission. Her permanent public works are located in the Bronx, Binghamton NY, and Charlotte NC. She has been exhibiting sculpture and creating site-specific installations since 1989.
After leaving his home in Hawaii to journey through Asia in 1974, Paton Miller arrived on the East End of Long Island with a collection of travel inspired artworks that won him an art scholarship from Southampton College. Graduating with honors, Miller launched a career that has included more than twenty solo and numerous group exhibitions in New York City and throughout the United States. His works are among the most widely collected between the East End of Long Island and New York City. Miller will also have works on view at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum through July 15. http://www.sagharborwhalingmuseum.org/new-events/2018/6/22/sea-and-sky