Two painters are set to hold their first “solo” exhibition together at the Dollhaus II art gallery in Bayonne. Bee Heim and Simone Lubrani’s work will be on display from May 13 to June 12 at the outsider art gallery located at 23 Cottage Street.
Bee Heim is an organic pastry chef whose spectacular delights are often staples at art openings at the gallery, in addition to being a flowering artist herself. Simone Lubrani gets up at 4 a.m. every day for a disciplined life involving family of four Daschunds, his art, and his spiritual practices, all while working as a professional tattoo artist.
These two young artists, both of whom reside in Staten Island, are at the beginning of their careers, and use many mediums and concepts. The Dollhaus II has curated a show with their works together, “because it just makes sense.”
Heim is a young modern impressionist experimenting with her work. She has been in two group shows at The Dollhaus II, but this is her first public solo exhibition.
Heim spends a lot of time in nature and escaping the city. Evocative of that, Heim’s paintings of forests and woodlands evoke a mix of deep symbolism and intuitive meaning. The landscapes are a powerful reminder that Mother Nature is the ultimate ruler of this Earth.
Heim’s forests represent being lost, exploration, and potential danger, as well as mystery and other-worldliness. Her paintings feel secretive, like something that was hidden away and just discovered, akin to “the artist’s soul’s hiding place.”
These landscapes conjure up a strong subconscious link between childhood and the forest, an “enchanted” place where the rules of the universe bend and the creatures in her paintings live. A recurring female character which is thought to be called “Lucinda,” though the artist will never confirm it, appears to be at the edge of the forest.
This could be Heim herself as a darkened traveler, looking for enlightenment and freedom. By placing these female presences amongst the majestic and grand trees towering above, she highlights that humanity is not in control, is primal in nature and always in danger of losing its way and falling into the dark forces of the other worlds that surrounding it.
Lubrani is a young modern surrealist finding his way through painting. He has been in two group shows at The Dollhaus II, but this is also his first public solo art exhibition and he is just getting started.
Lubrani’s paintings are complex, imaginative, and dense in the use of symbolic figures and iconography. The works titillate and amuse much like ‘grotteschi’ of the Italian Renaissance.
The paintings feature extremely intricate depictions of man in a sinful, destructive journey of greed and consumption. while abusing and pillaging a beautiful world. Lubrani’s work features devastation and ruination in unexpected scenarios with familiar characters.
Being an Italian artist, religious struggles and narratives dominate Lubrani’s paintings. That is often juxtaposed in his work by a smidge of surrealist Salvador Dali and Robert Crumb, a sprinkle of Robert Williams specifically referencing ZAP comix from the 1960s, and some Freudian psychology.
Lubrani uses imagery of demons, half-human animals like oversized rats with worm-like tails stomping through lush landscapes; the monsters and chimeras he invents and paints break through nature. Fantastic illustrations of human dreams and nightmares as hybrids rise out of conveyor belt grinders; inexplicable machines come out of the aftermath wreckage of the world to evoke fear and confusion, portraying the evil of man.
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