Athen B. Gallery presents “Spectators”, a group exhibition featuring the new works of Caleb Hahne, Michael Reeder, and Molly Bounds, in Downtown Oakland and curated by Brock Brake.
Each artist’s narrative is unique and individual but a common theme is expressed – the elements that define human nature. The idea of one being a Spectator is translated in the paintings by encompassed identity, perspective and experiences that are all key factors in how we define ourselves as people.
The interest of these artists to highlight the importance of how images and objects, when put into synchrony, have the power to communicate with the viewers and that’s one of the most powerful moments in the art.
Hahne’s works explore this perspective by creating a legend through a blending of different classical forms onto one surface, to present possible outcomes for a story. Expanding on previous work, these images give the viewer hints of phantoms and moments, allowing the information to create a collection of meaning. In “Spectators,” Hahne explores the potential of symbolism in narrative as a reference of thought and the self, through the figure and mark making.
Centered on portraiture, Michael Reeder’s current body of work seeks to make a direct connection with the audience. This connection encourages viewers to bring their own perceptions, imagination, and vision to light alongside mine.
“I avoid narrowing my conceptual focus in order to allow content to be found and seen for the first time. Although I am technically orchestrating the process, I do my best to remain removed just enough to let the work veer off-course and locate its own destiny.”
Reeder’s work is a mix between realism and the oneiric world. His themes highlight motifs of identity, the mask, and the meaning of the ego. The convergence of infinite space and the figure highlight the realm of contemplation located between the conscious and the subconscious mind.
“In my most recent series of works I am utilizing a more dimensional method of pushing the collage-esque look and feel of my imagery. In doing so I hope to place emphasis on how ones identity is merely a blend of different elements, backgrounds and experiences. These elements ultimately come together in harmony to create the individualized self.” – Michael Reeder
Molly Bounds’ current work meditates on the correlation between self worth and otherness. Mostly through portraiture, scenes from girlhood gestural murals, and a lexicon of personal symbols her work explores how power, authority, and the structural training of doubt can undermine those lacking agency in determining their futures.
‘Have I Already Told You The is Story’ is a series reflecting on shared experience and the complexities of internal dialogue surrounding the notion of watching and doing. Highly influenced by narrative sequencing within alternative comics.
Bounds visually maps the psychological confinement of understanding one’s own capabilities. Stills from a sedentary life reveal contemplation, urgency, and fleeting opportunity while providing glimpses into the embodiment of liberation and the height of human potential. With each passing moment, we are reminded; confidence and hesitance are the shifting variables in this formula, but there is only one constant: possibility.
Athen B. Gallery located at 1525 Webster St in Downtown Oakland. Also conveniently located right off both 12 St and 19th St Bart Stations.