Fire and Rebellion the Subjects of “Return to Sender” at The Fridge
by Larry Janezich
The subjects of Brooklyn artist David Molesky’s paintings exist in four groups: Figures, Land, Water, and Fire. Fire and rebellion are the subjects of the paintings in “Return to Sender” currently on exhibit at The Fridge, in the alley on the east side of Barrack Row.
The ancients considered fire elemental – and in mythology portrayed it as both a purifying force and a destructive one; a gift that resides in the hearth and in the forge; a regenerative force that precedes new growth after a forest fire and the Phoenix before it arises from the ashes.
Molesky’s rebels in “Return to Sender” return fire, stones, and tear gas canisters to unseen opponents behind the flames and smoke – apocalyptic snapshots inspired by media captures of actual worldwide rebellions.
The unstated warning in “Return to Sender” references Prometheus, who stole fire and gave this power to control and transform the world to humans, making possible progress and civilization. But in Greek mythology, the god also represented the danger of overreaching and unintended consequences – groundwork for The Birth of Tragedy.
The paintings are part of Molesky’s ongoing body of work of smoke and fire images: Hill Fire Paintings (2009-2011), Gulf Spill (2010), Ukrainian revolution (2014-2015), and now Return to Sender (2018) – all shown at Fridge Gallery. See Molesky’s work here: http://davidmolesky.com/
David Molesky grew up in Washington, DC, moving west in 1995 to obtain his Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley (1999). Molesky’s work has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions including: the Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD); Pasinger Fabrik (Munich, Germany); and the Cal State Fullerton Grand Central Art Center (Santa Ana, CA). His work is in the permanent collection of several public museums including: the Long Beach Museum of Art and the Iloilo Contemporary Art Museum in Philippines.
“Return to Sender” is at The Fridge through September 28.
Cocktail talk: Thursday, September 20th, 6-8 pm.
516 ½ 8th Street SE; open Thursday – Saturday 12 – 8, Sunday 1 – 5