Ever walk into an art gallery and felt harmony, serenity, and the presence of a strong force for good? At Paradigm Gallery, artists Dennis McNett and Alex Yanes, with their allegorical totems and spiritual adumbrations, hope to envelop viewers in the warmth of their mellow vibes, through the medium of the collective unconscious. A number of the pieces are in fact collaborations between the two artists, an exploration of the spiritual duality of their awareness.
“One thing that I noticed right off when I first met Alex Yanes,” said Dennis McNett, “was that we work very similarly, in that we’re both pretty blue collar about the way that we approach things, like we’re both pretty spontaneous, but also know how to use construction tools because we both grew up around building skateboard ramps. We know how to put things together. So I think that some of our upbringing was very similar.
And when we talked about doing the show we threw a couple ideas back and forth and I pitched the idea of calling it ‘Good Medicine‘ with the idea that, looking at the state of things right now, like if you turn on the news or social media of any kind, you just see this constant bombardment of negative stuff. And we’d like to give everybody a change of perspective.” Anyone capable of advancing that groovy harmony, according to McNett’s understanding of old or aboriginal cultures, carries “good medicine”.
While McNett focuses on large-scale, mostly brooding, wood sculptures, often inspired by meditation and his spiritual practice, Yanes’s work is infused with the colors and pastiche of Miami, his hometown. His background in graphic design, as well as the skateboard ethic that he shares with McNett, suffuse his work with a bold yet mysterious dynamic, both playful and deliberate.
There is a considerable joy that comes from experiencing these works-the intentions of both artists are genuinely present. And as the harsh reality of today’s crisis-of-the-moment culture continues to spread sickness, spiritual or otherwise, then perhaps Good Medicine just might be the cure.
Good Medicine will be on view from May 25 – July 21, 2018
746 S 4th St Philadelphia, PA 19147
Danny Brody is the author of The Cold Shake (2018), a noir novel of ‘70’s New York, and The Gilded Palace of Sin (2008), a collection of poems. He created the seminal Miami food blog, Daily Cocaine, penned numerous food, wine, and booze columns for the Miami Herald, and wrote The Art of Hunger column for MAP Magazine. He has also written art, design, and architecture pieces for Modern Luxury Magazine, Design District Magazine, Social Affairs, and Art New Orleans. He lives in the South Bronx.