Meghan Boody’s “Trésor (Dear Dame, your sleeping sparkes awake).”
William Ris Gallery in Jamesport will host the opening of “Neverlands,” an exhibit by Jeff Muhs and Meghan Boody on Friday, October 11, from 6 to 9 PM. Muhs, a South Fork resident, and Boody, from the North Fork, will be exhibiting for the first time together, representing both shores of the East End. There will also be an artist talk on Saturday, November 2, from 1 to 3 PM, when the two will share their backstories. Until then, Indy caught up with the artists.
What does the title, ‘Neverlands,’ mean to you?
Jeff Muhs: Meghan and I each have our own mythos to our work. Meghan has the characters that occupy her work, their journeys, their condition. My mythos is in the paint and color, their character, and the story I tell with them. Each of our works lie somewhere in the “Neverlands” of our own creation.
Meghan Boody: To me, “Neverlands” is a twilight zone, an alternate plane that exists parallel to ours. It’s a magical place we often visit in our dreams where the normal laws of reality are suspended. Sometimes we get lucky during our day and the veil momentarily lifts and a glimmer of the mystery bleeds through. These are moments of déjá vu and synchronicity that often illuminate our path. As an artist, I try to capture this fleeting beauty.
Is there a particular piece that you’re excited to show?
JM: I will have two brand new paintings in the exhibition. They represent the latest incarnation of my work. I also will be bringing several small-scale experimental works that may be the forerunner for my next series.
MB: I am excited to be showing some transparent photographs printed on plexiglass that I made over the summer. They are like large glass slides and can be hung in front of windows. The natural light activates each image, lending an ethereal sparkle to the otherworldly characters and scenes. The photos are blow-ups of individual cards from my PsycheSuperStar oracle deck (similar to a Tarot deck). Each manipulated image aims to capture the essence of familiar mythic archetypes that are imbedded in our collective imaginations. So if any of these images looks strangely familiar to you, they are doing their job.
How does creativity strike?
MB: For me, creativity is the life-blood of existence. Not just for artists, but for everyone on the planet. There is great creativity in a master plumber, surgeon, parent, or anyone who is interested in developing their craft. The creative genius hidden inside everyone is directly linked to the divine. Our life’s mission is about tapping into this source.
JM: I think rather than a flash of inspiration, creativity for me is wound up like energy in a spring over time, building up to a breaking point, and then is unleashed.
How do you feel your work will complement the other artist?
JM: While my work and Meghan’s, on the surface, might seem very different, we have, in the past, acknowledged some underlying commonality. While not completely identified, this exhibition gives us the opportunity to explore that connection further.
MB: Jeff Muhs and I go way back. In the early 1990s, I posted an ad in the Southampton Press for volunteers to pose nude with their pets for a series of photographs. Jeff and his best friend, Brad, responded. They appeared at my studio with a humongous sow along with a knapsack of Oreos — bribes which were necessary, as this pig was not budging without incentives. Brad was the one who stripped down and we had a hilarious time trying to choreograph a decent shot. (The piece is part of the show.) I mention this incident as an indication of how willing Jeff is to venture into, shall we say, unusual territory. I have been told I have the same tendency. I believe our work together will create a particular blast of intensity!
What do you hope to discuss during the talk on November 2?
MB: By experiencing art, people open themselves up to the process of transformation. Simply exposing oneself to the symbols, archetypes and color in a work can have a lasting impact on the psyche and trigger shifts in behavior. I hope to engage the audience in a conversation about these fascinating possibilities. To get the ball rolling, I will be giving readings from my oracle deck to volunteers.
JM: I think we might discuss our association, what we think of each other’s work, and how it led to the genesis of this exhibition.
“Neverlands” will run through November 9. William Ris Gallery is located at 1291 Main Road in Jamesport. Visit www.williamris.com.