Thomas Robertello Gallery is pleased to present The Kala Series – a solo exhibition of work by Jason Robert Bell. This exhibition of paintings, drawings, and sculpture explores Bell’s alter ego; a monstrous fur covered female hominid who is impossibly beautiful, transcendent, comical, erotic, and horrific. These sublimely oedipal self-portraits reveal a fully self-actualized being who is at once psychologically complex, in full possession of her rich inner world and femininity, intimidating, and exists in a surreally beautiful fantasyland, longingly struggling to be accepted, understood, and loved.
Bell has created a subject that could serve as a divine and transgressive embodiment of the history of Art. Kala is a contemporary Venus, emerging from a sea of culture and our deepest memories, confronting our belief systems and definitions of beauty, societal acceptance, and self-awareness. She exists as a dark mirror to all the nudes, nymphs, and muses of Art history. Kala is also a rebuttal to the clichéd pornography that has saturated contemporary Art; she is the Jungian shadow that our culture has cast in our idealization and distortion of femininity.
Jason Robert Bell lives in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with a BFA in painting in 1995, and the Yale School of Art, with an MFA in painting in 2000. Bell’s paintings, drawings, experimental films, sculptures, comics, and performances have been exhibited in New York, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, Washington D.C, Baltimore, and Tokyo. Concurrently with this exhibition, Bell is having a mini-retrospective at the Hans Weiss New Space Gallery at Manchester Community College in Connecticut.