Made Here: Winter 2016

“MADE HERE Winter 2016”  Chris Bors, Seung-Jong Isaac Lee, Joiri Minaya and Sarah Nicholls.

Guttenberg Arts Gallery is pleased to present “MADE HERE Winter 2016” a group exhibition of the current Artists in Residence; Chris Bors, Seung-Jong Isaac Lee, Joiri Minaya and Sarah Nicholls. On view April 8 - May 1, 2016. The works included in MADE HERE were created during the artist’s residences this past summer. The title “MADE HERE” carries not only multiple definitions, but multiple conceptual meanings ranging from location to identity, the politics of materials and the historical nature of place. All of these new works deeply considered many of these issues and are only just the beginning points for deeper reflection.\

Seung-Jong Isaac Lee’s newest lithographic prints and rubbings deeply consider ideas of living life in New York City as a foreigner and immigrant. As Lee tries to resolve these issues in his daily life, he choose the ‘manhole’ as a metaphor for his journey. Manholes are seen as an escape route or connection to a new world; the manhole cover as a gate. Thus, Lee creates inter-dimensional portals in his lithographs using the image of the manhole as a symbolic gateway between cultures, nations, and identities. Manhole covers are a reflection of a town’s civic pride, as they are produced by foundries and local authorities. They are also the doors which guide his work to an unknown and underground path, that imply that hardships and storms of life are prerequisites to the new world of escape or freedom.

Chris Bors new paintings use appropriated graphics and imagery from a variety of sources. He has created bold poster-like paintings and prints, sometimes with hand painted elements. Mickey Isis, 2016, features a crudely-rendered Mickey Mouse giving the middle finger, while a large QR code leading to a Google image search of terrorist group Isis floats on the raw canvas. In A.C. (#1), 2016, the sexually-suggestive logo of grindcore band A.C. merges with an abstract painted background of quick brushstrokes and drips.  Influenced by underground comics, punk and metal music, fanzines and graphic design, Bors’s work is a post-pop amalgamation of politics, cultural references and appropriated and drawn visuals. Bors coined the term "virtual dumpster diving" to describe the practice of taking images and videos from the web.

Joiri Minaya work has a direct focus on otherness, self-consciousness and displacement is inspired not only by women in her family, but issues of labor, dislocation, psychology, myth, art history, magic realism and symbols. These new works come from images collected through Google searches of terms like "tropical hair braider", "caribbean hair braider" and "beach braids". She is drawing attention to a recurring way of framing snapshots in these situations and had created compositions that are only interested in the subject whose hair is being braided, reducing the presence of the braider to their hands. By isolating the essential parts of this action by drawing only the hair and the hands a kind of reversal takes place in the portrait, where the main focus, the face, is refused, bringing the attention back to the laboring hands and their intricate and detailed product.


Sarah Nicholls is a visual artist who makes pictures with language, books with pictures, prints with type, and animations with words. She often uses found language and metal type, combining image, visual narrative, and time. For this exhibition, Sarah Nicholls developed woodcuts for a new limited edition book project. Glasshouse is concerned with greenhouses, botanical texts, and the global reshuffling of tropical species. How do we build structures to contain trees meant to grow elsewhere? What is it like to sail off the edge of what you know? What did economic botany mean in a world before chemical plants and the pharmaceutical industry? What is the relationship between science and empire?

Exhibition:  April 8 - May 1, 2016; Opening Reception on April 8, 7-9pm. For more information please contact or 201-868-8585. Guttenberg Art Gallery is free and open to the public by appointment.