Curated by Michelle Marie
"Hunger of Rust" is an exhibit by painter and mixed-media artist N. Soala in partnership with the 2nd Annual L.E.S. Art Drive to benefit The Bowery Mission.
“…we constantly suppress a frothy brew of cruelty, sadism, jealousy, and bodily smells.”
N. Soala’s illustrations contain a particular brand of nostalgia for a time when animation had the ability, however short-lived, to be coy and subversive on myriad levels without the burden of a world that’s infiltrated from all conceivable angles by digitized branding and corporate agendas. Raised on the animations of John Kricfalusi (aka John K) and Mike Judge, whose exaggerated forms, innuendo, and off-brand humor defined a generation of cartoons, Soala unleashes a stream-of-consciousness onto each work, carving out surrealistic dimensions that walk a fine line between crazy and mad. Like his predecessors, Soala has a gift for locating the beauty in the grotesque and for capturing just what it looks like to break down from the inside.
Oftentimes in our efforts to take control of our emotional and psychological faculties, anger is the sanest state there is, with jealousy, envy, and amusement all equal close seconds. Soala paints from a place of skepticism and acceptance, of joy and fear – dualities that are far from accidental. The artist’s characters all seem to exist on the verge of collapse, yet from this supposed madness comes a host of disparate narratives both violent and frail.