I am working with the ﬁne folks at Contaminate NYC again to coordinate a show at a slick little hair salon in the West Village. Thanks to Virginia for curating and for writing such a thoughtful press release. Information below:
Curated by Virginia Villari
535 Hudson St., corner Charles St. (West Village), NY, NY 10014
Sept. 15th – Oct. 13th, 2010
OPENING RECEPTION: September 15th, from 6 to 9 PM
Welcome to Thursday City is the solo show dedicated to comic book artist and graphic designer Joshua Ray Stephens. The exhibition is a presentation of Joshua’s imaginary world: the city of Thursday City and its habitants. On display a series of drawings, black ink on paper, which unfold these personages to the viewer, who is thrown into an enigmatic universe, populated by heroic, mystical figures. Men, women, soldiers and philosophers, often hybrid creatures, half man half animal, move within surreal scenarios. In the end, they are modern characters: contradictory, ironic, provocative, always busy talking, speculating, wondering, fighting or doing some mysterious activities.
“I hail from the Deep South where people have the time to tell each other long stories.” Narrative is a crucial aspect of Joshua’s work. Whether within one picture or deployed through several, a meaning always informs his images. This visual writer has always been attracted by heroic narratives as well as by comedy. Comics is the visual medium that perfectly combines the two, as it can simultaneously be epic and silly, fantastic and absurd. Joshua’s influences range from Greek mythology to Japanese mangas, from Dostojevski to Moebius. His aesthetic is gothic and industrial, but always silly and humorous. Welcome to Thursday City shows us the heroism of the ordinary that we all experience every day, and invites us to not take ourselves too seriously.
Joshua Ray Stephens is a designer by training, a cartoonist by vocation, an educator by edict, an artist by accident, and a philosopher by autodidaction. He was born and raised in Georgia. He earned a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Georgia. After undergrad he worked and studied at Fabrica, Benetton’s internationally acclaimed communications research center in Treviso, Italy. He then went to Cranbrook Academy of Art to earn his Master’s degree in 2D Design. He has been initiated into the arcane mysteries through spiritual powers beyond verbal comprehension.
ContestaRockHair® is a brand created in 1996 by a group of hairstylists who shared the passion for fashion. Contesta is characterized by a rock soul that links music and art with the creation of hair styles, fostering innovation and experimentation. Today Contesta Rockhair counts 11 salons in Rome, Florence, New York, Miami and Shangai.