ART: Newark: Sign of the Nation Exhibit


Story by Sharon Adarlo

Infamous riots and fires hallowed out Newark, N.J., but Brick City has been on a long upswing with new development, businesses, civic engagement. Hell, you will see the odd hipster on his fixie bike riding in downtown.

Part of that upswing is a growing art scene. Get a taste this Friday, October 25, at the opening reception of Sign of the Nation,” an exhibit at Solo(s) Project House, an art gallery in downtown Newark.

Artists Igor Alves, Yuri Alves and Bruno Miguel will be showing various works featuring signs and their meanings in different permutations through January 4, 2014

From Solo(s) Project House:

“Reality is rough for those who live in the periphery of the tropics. Almost always, due to the absence and responsibility of the government (the institutional power), the official character of the cityscape and its byways, is defined by the “official-like”. This universe of imagery is rich with degraded aesthetics and social dramas, and arises as a pillar of research for Brazil based artist Bruno Miguel. His works originate from existing structures like metal signs, decorative plates, planks and carpets, each imbued with inherited stories from existence in the real world, existing prior to appropriation by the artist, and aim to present a jumping off point in the artistic process.

His cousin, Newark, NJ based Igor Alves challenges us to develop critical “ways of seeing” our street scape, and to re-imagine the possibilities and consequences of signs in particular. His investigation highlights the not-so-accidental fecundity of the term sign, as well as the discursive roles played by signs in sociopolitical power dynamics.

Despite their preeminence within the official scape, signs risk an invisibility of ubiquity.

Igor’s brother, Newark-raised and Los Angeles, CA based filmmaker, Yuri Alves shifts the experience of signs into the realm of the highly personal and relational. His digital media exploits notions of where signs belong, what they look like, what they do, and in the process explores whether signs can stretch beyond the physical and into the existential. Alves’ study leads him (and his characters) to the concept of “ghost signs” – objects created in our individual imagination but trapped in the confines of our shared memory.

Signs are extraordinary in their claim to the ordinary.”

Opening reception:  October 25 from 7 to 11 p.m.

Location: Solo(s) Project House, 972 Broad Street, downtown Newark.

The exhibit will be up until January 4, 2014. The art gallery is open from Wednesday to Friday, noon until 6 p.m.

After the opening reception, there will be an after party at Hellz Kitchen, 150 Lafayette Street, Newark, NJ

You can find more information about the exhibit and Solo(s) Project House, here.

You can find more information about the after party here.