Morton Fine Art Presents Maya Freelon Rebirth/Rebound and Amber Robles-Gordon Third Eye Open

By Editorial Team on April 26, 2018
Maya Freelon, Compression, 2017, 44″x70″, tissue ink monoprint. Courtesy of Morton Fine Art.
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Opening Reception: Friday, April 27 from 6pm to 8pm
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About MAYA FREELON & Rebirth/Rebound
In 2005, I lived with my grandmother while working on my MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I discovered a beautiful accident in her basement, a stack of tissue paper stained by water from a leaking pipe. I was initially drawn to the intricate pattern left on the paper. The way the water stained the paper reminded me of the old drop ceiling tiles I would stare at when I was bored in elementary school. Finding the watermarked paper changed the entire trajectory of my artistic career.

I utilize the ink from “bleeding” tissue paper to create ​Tissue Ink Monoprints​, the tissue paper is then dried, ripped and reformed into ​Tissue Quilts​ and sculptures. I also create ​Tissue Spirals​ out of paper, using the smallest scraps of paper and tape. By incorporating archival photographs, both from my family and found, I developed a process called ​Tissue Ink Mono/Photo Prints, ​which is a blending of a high contrast black and white scanned photography, and a Tissue Ink Monoprint. My most recent experimentation incorporates the use of a pottery wheel, which creates a visual vortex, resulting in ​Spinning Tissue Ink Monoprints​, and ​Spinning Tissue Ink Mono/Photo Prints​.

Both delicate and resilient, the use of tissue paper poses questions surrounding preservation, “high” and “low” art, and the attribution of value. What fuels our desire to protect? How much pressure is needed until something is ripped? Is it destroyed? Can one find strength and power in fragility? Do you still appreciate the beauty of now, even if you know it will ultimately fade away?

Combining tissue paper as a medium, with my own personal struggles, allows me to visualize the whimsical nature of emotions. Specifically my challenges surrounding the death of my newborn son, depression, divorce and rebirth. The intrinsic impermanence of tissue paper continues to intrigue me, even after 13 years of working with the medium, I’m still discovering new ways to play.  -MAYA FREELON, 2018

MAYA FREELON
(Durham, NC, b. USA)
Maya Freelon is an award-winning visual artist whose work was described by the late poet ​Maya Angelou as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.” Cosmopolitan magazine featured her in June 2015 in “Art Stars” calling her one “of the most badass female artists in the biz.” She was commissioned by Google to design original art for their​ OnHub router, by ​Cadillac to create a live-sculpture for their Dare Greatly creative campaign, and by the ​North Carolina Museum of Art to create a collaborative tissue paper sculpture celebrating the opening of their African Art wing. Her unique tissue paper art, praised by the ​International Review of African American Art as “a vibrant, beating assemblage of color,” has been exhibited internationally, including shows in France, Jamaica, Madagascar, and Italy. She was selected by ​Modern Luxury magazine as Best of the City; by Huffington Post as “​Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know​”; and by ​Complex magazine as “15 Young Black Artists Making Waves in the Art World​.” Maya has completed residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, the Korobitey Institute in Ghana, and the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia. She earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Amber Robles-Gordon, Kepler 19-c and Kepler 19-b, 2018, 36″x36″, mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of Morton Fine Art.

About AMBER ROBLES-GORDON & Third Eye Open
Third Eye Open, represents an internal conversation about the inter-connectedness of human life, from the infinitesimal individual to the expanse in which our universe exists and operates within – yet there are laws of physics, and highly shared beliefs and practices that hinge or bind us together.

While creating this work I was processing research primarily from two past series: The Male and Female and Awakening the Matrilineal.

The Male and Female is a collection of four concentric circles, including The Male: The Male, The Architect, The Protector, as the outer circle. The inner circle is named The Universe. In The Female:, the outer circle is titled The Female, The Oracle, The Nurturer, while the inner circle is named The One, The Source Within.

Awakening the Matrilineal, the second series, includes five different circular works. This research included working with sacred geometry, the power of ancestral memories, cellular structure, cellular memory, genealogy and creating as a form of sacred practice and mediation. This led to my focus on developing an awareness of the third eye.

Depending on one’s spiritual and/or cultures beliefs it is also known as the 6th chakra or the pineal gland. The pineal gland, a pinecone-shaped organ, is centralized within the two hemispheres of a human brain. Among its secretion, this gland secretes melatonin, a hormone produced by the amount of light a person is exposed to and which regulates our circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms “are the daily cycles of biological activity” that occur within the human body, some animals, and plant life. Hence this cycle is extremely important to our overall well-being.

Activation of the third eye chakra can connect one to their intuitive senses, heighten the ability to see energy, connect to the spiritual realm, enhance creativity and/or strengthen their linkage to universal inspiration. This meditative state of mind, is a means for further forging a relationship with self, others and with one’s environment.

While creating this work I knew it was about the human connection to the universe but purposely avoided honing in to further define the conversation until it was absolutely necessary. Prior to completing the work, I was listening to the SyFy channel and heard about the discovery of Kepler 19c. I was intrigued by the process, transit timing variation (TTY), used by scientists to deduce the existence of the planet Kepler 19c. As scientists were studying Kepler 19b, they realized it was not acquiescing to their formulaic equation. The planet kept orbiting five minutes before or after their estimated arrival time. Kepler 19b was under the gravitational hold of Kepler 19c’s orbit—it was under the influence of an invisible, yet an undeniably powerful force.

With these works, I am suggesting the process of transit timing variation and the exploration of third eye activation and other measures of self-exploration and self-growth are essential and parallel, ongoing conversations. I believe we most all be listening and mindful of the invisible forces that intertwine us all. -AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, 2018

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON
(Washington, DC b. USA)
Amber Robles-Gordon is a mixed media visual artist. She is known for her use of found objects and textile to create assemblages, large-scale sculptures and installations. Her work is representational of her experiences and the paradoxes within the female experience.

Robles-Gordon has over fifteen years of exhibiting, art education, and exhibition coordinating experience. She completed her Masters of Fine Arts from Howard University in November 2011, where she has received annual awards and accolades for her artwork. She has exhibited nationally and in Germany, Italy, Malaysia, London, and Spain. Additionally, she has been commissioned by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, Luther College, WETA Television, Al Jazeera, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Howard University, David C. Driskell Center, the Phillips Collection, the African American Museum in Philadelphia and Mc Daniel College to teach workshops and present and speak about her artwork. Most recently, Robles-Gordon was selected for the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano, Back the Roots, Teaching Residency in Limon, Costa Rica.

Throughout her career, she has served as an advocate for the Washington, DC area arts community. As of November 2004 through July 2012, Robles-Gordon has been an active member of the Black Artists DC, (BADC) serving as exhibitions coordinator, Vice President and President. Robles-Gordon is also the Co-Founder of Delusions of Grandeur Artist Collective. In 2012, Robles-Gordon was selected to present for the Under the Influence competition as part of the 30 Americans Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

This is Amber Robles-Gordon’s inaugural solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

Gallery Hours:

  • Tuesday – Saturday: 11am to 6pm
  • Sunday: 12pm to 5pm

Morton Fine Art is located at 1781 Florida Ave. NW. For further information, visit www.mortonfineart.com.