Please join us as our gallery opens for Derek Elmore's "The Bastard Icons" from 6pm-8pm
The Bastard Icons are a series of nine allegorical figures. They stem predominantly from the deep unconscious with origins from the artist’s own preternatural experiences and varying religious philosophies. The images were not conceived to sugarcoat the hypocrisies of differing religious philosophies. They represent an unnamable symbolical truth.
A fundamental aspect to the Icons is the amalgamation of beauty (truth) and horror (falsehood) revealing a third enlightened state. This is mirrored in the use of multi-layered media to create darks, lights and gold. Furthered by the subtle androgyny. An alchemical process, this duality begets a third dimension, The Lapis Philosophorum. An infinite multiplication is mirrored in their several titles, which represent both a sacred and profane nature. “Novem Verus Sanctus” – (The Nine True Saints) juxtapose the vernacular tongue using a word connoting abandonment and rejection alongside one that describes a sacred image used for veneration. The titles continue into a third with the Arabic, التسعة الذين هم ثلاثة عشر “Al tesa'a al latheena hom thalathata aa” – “The 9 that are 13”. The Bastard Icons appear at first to be nine figures but upon closer inspection a viewer can count up to 13 or more, implying an infinite connectivity to all things. Nine and 13 are spiritually distinctive numbers in the life of the artist. The Bastard Icons meld east and west aesthetics, philosophy and polar opposites creating a third presence, which begets infinity, as a cell dividing.
The Bastard Icons are spiritual descendants of at least three important sequential works in the canon of western art history and mysticism: Albrecht Dürer’s Apocalypse of St. John (1498), William Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-3), and Austin Osman Spare’s Book of Satyrs (1907). These illustrated visionary books have a common theme mixing beauty with horror, preternatural figures and satire of contemporaneous times. These themes unconsciously fell into place with The Bastard Icons. Another of their counterparts are Byzantine, Russian, Greek & early Renaissance icons. Each of the nine Icons incorporate various invocative texts utilizing sacred, ancient and magical languages such as Hebrew, Sanskrit, Latin, Sumerian cuneiform, Arabic, Japanese, and Runic characters, which, when translated compliment and contradict each figure. Lastly there is an instinctual language accompanying these, which serves as a compliment to the figures, as both are inherently intuitive. The contrary aspect of the sacred texts reflect the embodiment of the dual nature of the figures. The sacred texts are a means of identifying the various Icons protective and destructive qualities. The quintessence of The Bastard Icons is distilled archetypes belonging to all schools of thought and also none.
Derek Mathew Elmore is a published writer, speaker, and artist living and working in New York. Derek studied Studio Art in London and Italy, receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Richmond International University, London. Derek went on to study Conservation of Works of Art on Paper and obtained his Masters Degree from Camberwell College of the Arts, London. As an artist, Derek’s work attempts to expand the “periphery of consciousness”. He cites his fundamental influences as sequential art, the Italian Renaissance and Surrealism. In the field of art conservation Derek has always sought to work with visionary art or objects with sacred qualities. He has worked as a conservator or archivist at St. Paul’s Cathedral, John Latham’s Flat-Time House, The 9/11 Memorial and the Nicholas Roerich Museum. This is Derek’s first solo exhibition.