HUNGER OF RUST
“…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 as 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 seem to exist on the verge of collapse, yet from this supposed madness comes a host of disparate narratives both violent and frail.
The Art Drive is an annual opportunity for the local visual arts community to show unity, appreciation, and encouragement for the goals of The Bowery Mission, an organization that has been helping the homeless and poor in New York City for over 136 years.
Last year, The Bowery Mission provided more than 392,000 meals to men, women and children, 98,000 nights of shelter, 45,000 articles of clothing as well as showers, haircuts, and expert medical and optometric care. Each meal and every night of shelter is an invitation to residential recovery programs, which serve men and women who are regaining sobriety, reconnecting with family and faith, pursuing educational goals, and preparing for work and independent living. To ensure that at-risk children have a positive first chance at life, the Mission’s city and summer camps serve nearly 1,200 at-risk children.