By Sahan Weerakoon, news correspondent
Artwork featuring flowing tendrils and demonic faces, cartoon-style body painting and food art coalesced in an attempt to awaken onlookers from everyday diversions at :interference: art exhibition.
Hosted at Know No Truth, a Newbury Street gallery and store on Nov. 18, :interference: allowed guests the opportunity to not only view paintings, but to witness a food artist concoct exotic dishes and a body painter at work.
The exhibit lured people away from the distractions of the outside world, according to gallery organizer, founder and featured artist Landon Richmond.
“All these outside influences interfere with our goals; we need to figure out a way to get past it,” Richmond said. “If we let the interference get us, we never get to our goal.”
Richmond invited body painter Adam Giangregorio, whose bright color choices and cartoon style stood in contrast to Richmond’s darker approach.
“I had initially begun brainstorming designs by looking through Landon [Richmond]’s work, but I felt like it would ultimately be better to contrast highly instead of blending in,” he said.
The models, Anna Rock and Nicole Leland, were painted only on the upper body. The designs were meant to resemble power-armor from cartoons, with an intricately painted collar area, vibrant colors across the upper body and black paint across the wrist with white specks. Both models were also adorned with heavy dark lines to add further contrast, which Giangregorio said comes from his interest in animation.
He also noted the layout of :interference: added to his work, since visitors could watch the body painting, engage themselves in another part of the exhibition and come back to see his progress.
“People can flow to different parts of the party depending on their mood,” Giangregorio said.
A small kitchen set up at the exhibition featured work by chef and food artist Heather Feher. In making the dishes, she tried to include elementsof Richmond’s paintings, andin doing so found herself using some unusual ingredients.
“A lot of his work focuses on facing your fears and courage in general, so consuming heart – the ultimate symbol of courage – seemed to fit in perfectly with that,” Feher said. “He also uses a lot of dripping lines which reminded me of tentacles, which is how we ended up with octopus.”
All of Richmond’s paintings were acrylic on canvas, and many of his works featured smudges to create a darker palette of colors and indefinite lines, leaving a vine-like appearance. Some works featured dark writing such as “outside my head, my problems don’t exist.” The characters in his paintings were gaunt and monster-like.
At the exhibition, Richmond implored visitors to look past the morbid exterior of his work and develop a deeper understanding of his art and of themselves.
“I want people to not glance at it but really look it,” he said. “I want to give visual representation to the thoughts and feelings that you carry all day.”
Richmond created his artwork to inspire viewers to embrace their fears.
“We can get so ruled by fear that we are avoiding the darkness but really we are avoiding our lives,”he said.
The exhibition also featured photography focused on interference with the psyche and ego by Jason Baker and Anthony Grassetti,as well aslive music courtesy of DJ Static (James Cuddyer) and Howie River.
Grassetti said he and the other artists got involved due to the welcoming atmosphere of Richmond’s exhibitions.
“His gallery is a great place for all sorts of artists to come together, free of pretense,” Grassetti said.
Overall, visitors felt the music and layout added to the artwork.
“I think [the design] is good,”John Park, an attendee from Boston, said. “It encourages a social environment which is surprising with dark art.”
Photo courtesy Landon Richmond