Opening: First Thursday, November 7, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Gallery4Culture proudly presents John Feodorov in Emergence, a solo installation of large unstretched canvases and video projections juxtaposing contrasting narratives that convey themes of destruction and rebirth. The foundation for this body of work lies in Feodorov’s memory of a Navajo creation myth told to him by his mother when he was a child. The myth advances the idea that one world’s destruction is another’s creation. Feodorov’s Emergence work is rooted in his long-term fascination with how and why mythology develops and survives. He has explored how civilization’s past disasters were absorbed, rationalized and expressed through mythology. Culture, after all, both shapes and is shaped by its mythology.
In the artist’s words, “There is both beauty and humor within many mythical traditions, but there is also horror.” In Emergence, John Feodorov experiments with creating a modern mythological iconography based upon recent environmental disasters (the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and radioactive water leaking from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant). Feodorov’s direct and powerful imagery explores the implications of the Navajo creation myth for our present-day catastrophes. Neither propaganda nor an exercise in irony, Feodorov creates art that engages and confronts the viewer by a process of questioning common assumptions and ideas regarding identity, race, place and culture.
John Feodorov was born in Los Angeles of mixed Navajo (Diné) and Euro-American heritage. He grew up in the suburbs of Southern California while making annual visits to his family’s land on the Navajo Reservation. The time he spent on his grandparents’ homestead in New Mexico continues to influence his work.
Feodorov is Associate Professor of Art at Fairhaven College at Western Washington University in Bellingham. He has exhibited widely and was featured in the first season of the PBS television series, “Art 21: Art for the 21st Century”. Visit the artist’s website: JohnFeodorov.com