Friday, October 12, 2007

Chris Komater - Garden To Open

Chris Komater - Garden To Open

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Chris Komater, Untitled (Orchid), 2007, Four framed chromogenic prints, 61 x 61.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art will present “Garden,” a new installation of photographs and sound elements from San Francisco artist Chris Komater. Komater has approached the gallery, and his subject--the large hairy male body--from the perspective of a garden designer, one who shapes nature into artifice. Working against an idea of masculinity expressed in grunts and clothed in plaid, the male bodies found in “Garden” are taken apart and rearranged as formal garden elements, contextualized in a landscape filled with flowers, blossoms, and sounds. His garden includes close-up color photographs of plum blossoms, roses, and spider webs, as well as images of hairy bodies arranged to look like flowers, Italian cypresses, bolts of lightning from spring showers, and classical garden sculpture. A sound piece utilizes the sounds of men giggling, very softly, to mimic the effect of a water feature, adding an element of whimsy and romance to the garden.

Komater has been photographing the large hairy male body since 1998, close-up and abstractly, assembling the multiple images into large abstract arrays. He focuses his gaze on body-types that historically have received scant focus as artistic subject matter: hirsute, mature, differently-proportioned -- big bellies and lots (and lots) of hair. His goal is to produce an aesthetic experience that leads the viewer to a new relation to this kind of body.

Komater holds a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has studied at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou, China. He has mounted solo shows at Meridian Gallery, the Luggage Store, and Patricia Sweetow Galleries in San Francisco, and at the Bernard Toale Gallery in Boston. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Lab, Haines Gallery, and the Armory Show. He lives and works in San Francisco.

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