August 21 - December 11, 2017
Mariani Gallery, Guggenheim Hall
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 24, 4-9pm
Artist Talk: Wednesday, October 12, 5pm (Guggenheim Hall, Room 001)
Dylan Gebbia-Richards creates an explosive symphony of vivid colors by layering melted wax onto the surface of his work. While each mark begins as a tiny speck, the gradual buildup of these small gestures culminates in a sensory experience of unparalleled proportion. The artist’s innovative process awakens an alternate state of consciousness that stimulates hearing colors and seeing sounds, also known as chromesthesia. American Neurologist and author, Richard E. Cytowic described this perceptual phenomenon as, “something like fireworks” to the senses.
The title of the exhibition, Echo references the acoustic effect that occurs when sound reflects off of bare, close fitting walls and distantly repeats. Gebbia-Richards explores the possibility of inverting this principal into a ‘visual echo’ by encompassing the viewer in a 30' x 20.5' life-size, textured painting. The 30’ x 20.5’ room was intentionally designed in the shape of a double ellipse to metaphorically reference the feedback loop of an echo’s repeat. For three weeks, the artist constructed what he calls “the chamber,” often noting distinct echoes reflecting off of various sloped, wave-like sections of the room. During the next seven weeks Gebbia-Richards covered the walls with a 4,128 pound storm of wax dense enough to absorb sound and echoes. The artist intentionally negated ambient noise within the enclosure to reduce auditory stimuli, allowing for a viewer’s visual sense to become more dominant, creating an "echo," of a visual nature.
At any point within Echo the exhibition, the viewer stands at the threshold of an immersive color field. The topographical landscape reveals layers upon layers of an underlying color spectrum so luminous, they seem to vibrate from beneath. Each color is activated or triggered by the one laid before it to amass a momentous impact overall. Gebbia-Richards intentionally works with vivid pigments* to further explore these color frequencies and unearth a sensory assemblage of sight and sound.
written by Pam Campanaro, UNC Gallery Director + Curator