Artist Howard Lerner works with found materials and draws on a variety of spiritual traditions to give new life to ancient icons. I particularly like the "magic box" constructions he does, along the lines of the "wunderkammer" concept my colleague David Pescovitz muses on from time to time. Repetti in NYC will open a show of Lerner's work on March 6. Here's a blurb about the show:
His stated goal is to recreate the Biblical stories of God and man from both image and word. Using the discarded remnants of our civilization for sculptural material, he weaves Holy Scripture into the individual works. This act of re-creation connects the artist (and perhaps the viewer) with the Divinity, and allows the ancient stories to come alive in the present day.
The work isn't bound to a specific religious context, but instead seeks to depict stories that mingle between traditions. A large standing figure, 'Kunda-Shekina-Aherah' brings into one form several traditional representations of the Divine Feminine Principle. Known in Judaism as the Shekinah, in Yoga as the Kundalini Shakti and in the Ancient Near and Middle Eastern religions as the Asherah, the goddess here rises from the artist's vision of The Ark of the Covenant. The goddess, twisting and turning like a serpent, also invokes the Tree of Life, which alludes to what Wikipedia calls, 'the interconnectedness of all life on our planet.'
Breathing a more whimsical air into these mystical wonderings is a series of small, playful constructions inspired by folk art and antique toys. Planes and fish figure prominently, providing a more light-hearted glimpse into the artist's visual exploration of mysterious worlds.