Lucien Shapiro “Vessel” @ Guerrero Gallery, SFJuxtapoz // Thursday, 26 Sep 2013
Guerrero Gallery proudly presents Vessel, a collection of new works by Lucien Shapiro. This body of works, composed of masks and corresponding vessels, coincides with specific rituals personal to Shapiro’s experiences and reflections in life. Presented are themes related to the daily hustle, the seeking of light, confronting fears, realizing strength, the longing for a partner, and dealings with rejection. The masks provide a personal shield from realities; the vessels are representative of discovered or learned antidotes; and the rituals express an examination, acknowledgement, and passage of inner struggles. Through personal rituals, we’re able to experience reflective and intoxicating healing and cleansings of the soul.
By way of the Sinking Boats Belly Ritual, which is performed after one has recently been rejected or heart-broken, the mask-wearer is able to release pain and find solace. The ritual entails a dance under which the mask wearer’s head spasms and limp limb motions mimic beating oneself over the head or against something. Progressively, like an ungraceful beast, a hurling flurry of pin-wheeling and undulating arms ensues. Filled with ice water and positioned on the floor below the mask wearer, the Rusting Red Vessel, is emptied upon oneself, cleansing and rejuvenating.
Another ritual presented by Shapiro in the exhibition is a take on the modern man’s hustle. The Hustler’s Hooded Cloud Mask, adorned with what the wearer must push in order to carry on, is a showcase of the hustler’s supply. The Green Encompassed Vessel represents the mask wearer’s bank; It has no bottom, showing how currency seems to be continually spent immediately after it is made. The Purple Piece Cloud Vessel, a ceremonial pipe, represents the consumption of goods and evidences the expected nuances associated with the hustler-client relationship.
Lucien Shapiro’s art is rife with found objects, textures, casted forms, manipulations, raw substances, oddities and multiple personalities. Treating forgotten objects and memories as treasure, he creates a kingdom under which new life is born through sculpture. His Urban Obsessions explore perceptions of identity, addiction, and time, and tangibly relate the past’s and present’s ritualistic escape from stress, pain and love. Shapiro’s work, a laborious craft and meditative consumption of time, transforms forgotten objects into nostalgically interesting and beautiful relics that compel viewers to re-evaluate what our everyday possessions represent and mean to us. Shapiro obtained a BFA from San Francisco’s Academy of Art University in 2003.