By Martynas Limantas
Organized by the painter Joe Keinberger and the sculptor Skunk, NAVE Gallery Annex located in Davis Sqaure, opened its doors with a new exhibit starting July 10. Phantomaton is an exploration of the world “through influences of alchemy to biotechnology and whatever lies in between.”
The show includes works from both artists who have created an alternative world of rabbits and robots and scarcely-there beings. The showing runs through July 28, presenting art in mediums of acrylic, ink, pencil, pastel, charcoal, nuts and bolts and solder. Other works on display are by Torey Akers, Joshua Baptista, Dagan Barret, Michela Carlson, Joanne Desmond, Kris Hatch, Pauline Lim, Nita Penfold, Pawel Przewlocki, and Maria Shik. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday 2 to 8 p.m., and Sunday 2 to 6 p.m.
According to Keinberger, the inspiration to host such an exhibit came from the surrounding area and its rich New England past, the tradition, the ghost stories, the mystical side of things. “Growing up here in New England, there is a connection to the folklore, folktales, Salem, supernatural. It’s such an old part of the country, it was ingrained in me early on and shaped things into favoring more of a dark and gory side of things,” said Keinberger in an interview.
Speaking of his work, Keinberger said, “Nowadays we have outgrown the beliefs in witches and demons and have replaced them with cynicism and skepticism. It’s healthy in a way, but sometimes it feels that it takes the fun out of things and makes them dry.” He tries to create the world that would reflect the other side of things. “It’s good to be scared in the dark once in a while. We have come to a point where fear of each other should be replaced by the fear of the unknown,” continued Keinberger.
“It’s less about the technological side of things and more about the angst, loneliness, disconnect, sorrow, and loss,” elaborated Keinberger about his fictional characters. They appear to be experiencing solitary and questioning way of life. “May the Wind cut you, May the Ice bite you, May the Snow blind you,” reads one of the captions of his displays.
As to future plans, there are definitely works in the making for other exhibits. This coming fall he plans to collaborate with a few artists on themes such as paganism through the mid-winter realm. “With so many great artists in the Cambridge and Somerville area, we always try to reach out and have more shows,” said Keinberger.