Cirrus Gallery presents Cloak and Candle, an exhibition of Mark Golamco’s recent work. Taken from a strange masquerade or illustration of a new legend, the figures characterize certain myths and far-off truths. They are carved from wood and dressed in coats of wax, adorned with rubber snakes and tattoos. Sea Traders, Peace Seekers, and Father Figures are amongst the cast. Their costumes show a desire to inhabit impossible selves and illuminate the space between transformed identities and real roles.
For years Mark Golamco has cut images of people and places into plywood panels. Carving from memory as well, as from life, Golamco ritualistically excavates this industrial material. As he carves shapes out of the wood, he reveals the unseen layers beneath. Distinct from more traditional methods of woodcarving that use pre-determined pattern and precision, Golamco’s woodcarvings are composed of intuitive marks. Like woodblock prints, Golamco’s carvings are negative bas-beliefs incised into the wood, but unlike woodblocks, they are never printed. Instead, he then builds up color with layers of encaustic, creating an effect that is both painterly and sculptural.
Regarding the use of familiar materials such as wax and wood, the artist says:
“By working with cut paper, I hope to connect the primitive, naïve force of the medium — the child-like innocence of cutting and pasting — to the kinetic energy of the moving image. Freely moving between techniques that I practiced as a child and the sophistication inherent to medium of film, my work tries to capture the uneasy tension of living in a world always beyond our grasp and yet at the same time dishearteningly familiar.”
Guest artist Jennifer Levonian has created a video for Cloak and Candle. She describes the work and its relation to her art practice:
“This most recent animation continues my interest in clichés about romance and religion, the meaning of American identity, and desires to escape the routine.”