Cautionary Tales: Old Visions Through New Eyes at John Jay College
Image by Edward Monovich, A Day With The Goats #10, 2015, mixed media
Cautionary Tales: Old Visions Through New Eyes
Cecile Chong, Yuliya Lanina, Meridith McNeal, Edward Monovich, Susan Newmark, Mary Ting
Curated by Randall Harris and Anne Hoppe
November 11, 2015- January 22, 2016
Reception: Wednesday evening, November 11th, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
President’s Gallery in Haaren Hall, 6th floor
899 Tenth Avenue (between 58th & 59 St), New York, NY 10019
Regular Hours: Monday – Friday, 9-5PM
Drawn from common culture and rooted in our deepest memories, stories from childhood hold special power over personal and collective consciousness. Iconic representations of characters from these tales are deeply resonant, granting the artist who uses them potent emotional tools.
While the stories relegated to the nursery have always held messages—some conventional, some subversive—the artists in this exhibition use their imagery to explore contemporary social and political issues, to comment on personal experiences, and to challenge innate cultural associations. These pieces evoke viewer responses through seemingly incongruous juxtapositions as well as by shining new light on beloved characters, icons, and stories.
Timely subjects addressed range from Edward Monovich’s use of imagery from Heidi to examine the effects of global warming (pictured) to Meridith McNeal’s exploration of lies and the uneven application of justice in Pinocchio. Cecile Chong, whose drawings in wax reference the classic Dick and Jane books, reflects on cross-cultural assimilation from the perspective of her unique childhood in China, Ecuador, and the US, while collage artist Susan Newmark addresses the roles of women through images from 1950’s childhood books, celebrity culture, and comic strips. Yuliya Lanina creates small-scale music boxes based on popular folk tales to examine the underlying moral messages of these stories and their effects on a child’s psyche; and Mary Ting employs the three “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” monkeys to convey the horrors of laboratory experiments on primates and other animals.