Saturday, October 8, 2016
October 8 – November 13, 2016
GREGORIO ESCALANTE GALLERY
978 Chung King Rd, Los Angeles, CA
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19, 2016 /Weed Wire/ — Gregorio Escalante Gallery is pleased to announce glass artist Banjo’s first solo exhibition Sacramental Vessels, with additional works from friends and fellow artists Alex and Allyson Grey, Amanda Sage, Chris Dyer, and Luke Brown. Blending fine art and function, Sacramental Vessels is the decades long search for a language that plays between fine art and spirituality.
Glass art has existed parallel to the art world, only recently aligning to explore avenues that have been dominated by traditional painters, printers, photographers, and sculptors. Sacramental Vessels continues the tradition of glasswork in a new vein, referencing surrealist, brutalist, and revolutionary mid century aesthetics and concepts to create intricate functional glass sculptures. Banjo’s work has come out of both a fine art and countercultural background, with each piece representing his personal journey into the visionary and spiritual worlds.
Having come from a fine art background, Banjo became an artist after years of soul searching, exploring, and meeting influential figures ranging from the Rainbow Family to his wife and teachers. He has recently risen to the forefront as a key player in the glass scene, garnering a tremendous following and collector base that devours each piece as it’s made. The pieces that he creates are amalgams of experiences, transcending function, and become masterpieces made of glass; function meeting fine art meeting craft, Sacramental Vessels is a new body of immaculately detailed sculptural pipes that delve into your deepest subconscious. In lieu of fitting himself and his work into the constraints of the fine art realm, he has embraced the spirituality and countercultural leftovers to show us a world where craft is honed into art, function meets beauty, and spiritual meets physical. His work alongside artists Alex and Allyson Grey, Amanda Sage, Chris Dyer, and Luke Brown takes us on a journey that reminds us that the spiritual aspects of life are intrinsically linked with art – from pre-historic cave paintings, to renaissance and postwar movements, we continually draw inspiration from that which we seek to understand.
Sacramental Vessels will be on view October 8 through November 13, 2016 with an opening reception Saturday, October 3 from 7-10pm.
Born in western Michigan, in 1976, glass artist Banjo has been shaped and influenced by a variety of diverse experiences from his years growing up between both urban and rural settings. After graduating high school, Banjo attended Siena Heights University, first focusing on art history, and then pursuing degrees in both photography, and sculpture. While at Siena Heights, Banjo was deeply influenced by his sculpture professor, from whom he would eventually learn to make banjos and guitars. After becoming disillusioned with the rigid expectations of a formal art education, he dropped out midway through his senior year, and with a handmade banjo strapped to his back, left to explore the country, setting the stage for what would essentially become his own epic, on his own terms.
A father, a teacher, and an inspirational leader throughout the functional glass community, Banjo has become known for his painstakingly intricate depictions of interdimensional biomechanical deities representing the emergence of sacred feminine energy within the post-modern techno-industrial matrix. His techno-goddesses sit peacefully amid the Pistons and gears, the nuts and bolts of the machines they are supported by. A visionary and an optimist, Banjo has faith in a future that includes our technological and spiritual abilities existing in synchronous harmony for the benefit of our species’ evolution. His work depicts this vision as he creates archetypes for a current mythos that is still unfolding.