Formally Untrained: Art Exhibit by Ben Katz and Jordan Barker

The Formally Untrained opening reception proved to be an immersive showcase exploring the works of New York artists Katz and Barker. Together, these two artists present works in symbiosis to a highly organized crowd.

The public vernissage in October showcased the skills and talent of each artist whose work was represented. Ben Katz is constantly exploring new techniques and mediums and his work is continually innovating. Evident from the exhibits, his work uses various materials, including repurposed technologies and a wide variety of found objects. Some of the most recent methods are his work with ancient finds wrapped in pigmented encaustics, which create intricate three-dimensional works of art.

Observing Katz’s work will make you think about the ever-changing digital world and humanity’s increasingly symbiotic relationship with technology. Katz views his work as social commentary and uses it as an outlet for his often controversial views on modern life. This has been captured in beautiful and innovative ways during the gallery pieces on display.

Additionally, Jordan Barker is inspired by the feeling of touch and is inspired by the isolation of the pandemic. Each of us has seen our minds open up to new possibilities and explore new ideas – Barker did this by layering different materials and mediums on canvas, creating what is now a vast body of large-scale expressionist-style abstract pieces. Impressively, Barker created most of his work with his bare hands – his process created a unique sensory experience for his audience, making his work distinct to the touch.

The two curators, Dojchinov and Mehta, have a strong sense of storytelling and high-quality works of art that appeal to audiences from all walks of life, able to resonate with the works they experience.

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