INNER BEAUTY at Bherd Studios Gallery

Jul 11 – Aug 29 at Bherd Studios Gallery

Chris Sheridan and Aaron Jasinski explore the idea of inner beauty from dramatically different angles while carrying the same message: true beauty consists of more than just the typical trappings of our society.

Chris Sheridan is known for his rich oil paintings that place modern figures in sumptuous environments, making use of the language of flowers, mythic symbols, and folklore to draw us into narratives that seem as familiar and dangerous as Black Forest fairytales.

For Inner Beauty, however, Sheridan has stripped away the symbolic details and the clothing, preferring to focus on the beauty of the figure in its purest form. Fascinated with William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s painting The Birth of Venus, Sheridan is working on a series of larger-than-life nudes, all of whom will adopt the pose from Bouguereau’s image. Ranging across ethnicity, gender and body types with his choice of models—and without any trappings to clue the viewer in to their social status, religious views, or political ideals—Sheridan tries to explore “just what beauty is.” Inner Beauty presents early sketches, studies, and smaller scale paintings from this series. “Beyond trying to capture the image of a beautiful woman, this painting seems to speak to some core truth about beauty itself. I’ve tried to decipher whether it’s his mastery of the human form, the application of paint, the choice of the model, or even the pose.”

Aaron Jasinski’s surrealist and pop culture paintings are filled with characters who seem to step effortlessly from that children’s book you only half-remember, from the video game you once played at a friend’s house, the sci-fi dream you sort-of recall. Rendered in shades of candy colors and beloved toys, Jasinski’s works wrap his favorite pop culture in cloaks of honor, and elevate his own original characters to instant canon.

For Inner Beauty Jasinski turns his eye to the interior, looking beneath the skin and under the book’s cover to discover where beauty truly lies. “We build up images of ourselves or our beliefs about what is beautiful: to fit in, to stand out, to reject or embrace. Sometimes we build up so many layers that we may lose sense of whether our own true centers constitute a marshmallowy filling or a hard jawbreaker.” Works in this show will explore the idea of beauty as a multilayered concept, peering through the images we show the world based on time and circumstance, and prying through the guises we adopt.

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