Publication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press
Society is ready to reveal artists’ secrets once more
By Pat Rogers
What happens when a secret is too compelling to keep? For the Artist Secret Society, it means a group art show is about to be unveiled.
Breaking the self-imposed silence they resumed after last year’s show, the members of the Secret Society have gathered a group of nearly 25 artists for their second annual Guerilla Exhibition, opening at Christy’s Art Center in Sag Harbor on Wednesday, August 12, and continuing through Tuesday, August 18.
An opening reception featuring a live band and entertainment will be held on Saturday, August 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. Visitors shouldn’t be surprised if they’re greeted by a persuasive “gorilla” roaming in front of the brick building where Main Street meets Madison. Once inside, they just might encounter a belly dancer in the coils of a snake moving to live blues music.
The exhibition, “Between Heaven and Hell,” features artwork that explores the three major metaphysical divisions in the epic poem, “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). The show is separated into themes of Heaven, Purgatory and Hell.
The show is curated by Catamount Mayhugh, who was also the curator for last year’s inaugural Guerilla Show held at a vacant photo store in East Hampton. Last year’s show featured pieces by eight artists who presented either figurative or abstract work.
This year’s theme of mysticism is in keeping with Mr. Mayhugh’s charge to create a unique exhibition, and it was also a natural fit for the historic Christy’s Art Center and its three distinct spaces, the curator said. The range of the artists gathered is as sprawling as the display space for this year’s show.
Exhibiting artists include Damien Hirst, Dan Rizzie, Steve Miller, Randy Rosenthal, Bettina Werner (the “Queen of Salt”), David Geiser and Darius Yektai. Also showing are Jameson Ellis, Oliver Peterson, Benjamin McHugh, Melora Griffis, Paul Ickovic, Lola Schnabel, Norman Brosterman, among others. Artist Secret Society founders David Gamble and Eric Ernst will also have work in the show.
Besides selecting pieces that fall outside the norms of what is typically exhibited on the East End, Mr. Mayhugh chose much of the artwork for its commentary on the extremes of good and evil. In some cases, similar works could find their places in both Heaven and Hell, he added.
“Randy Rosenthal has carved sculptures of money,” the curator said. “I’m hoping to get two of them so they can go in Heaven and Hell. The point is that it’s not the object but the intent of the person. The exhibition has a lot of layers to it. How many of those layers people want to see is up to them.”