Visual AIDS Visual AIDS Visual AIDS 15h Annual Postcards From the Edge, January 25-27, 2013 The Body
Visual AIDS
Visual AIDS
  curator's statement january 2005 selection
      Visual AIDS

Jon Coffelt
g o i n g  w i t h i n
c u r a t o r :  j o n  c o f f e l t

After much thought and contemplation and going through image after image, I realized that my selection of work would involve what I saw was a place that each of these artists found that may have not been there before.

Maybe it was this most unique of incidences that stirred their curiosity to do the pieces I have chosen here and maybe they had an insight into this aspect of themselves all along, an understanding that there are no absolutes but there are definitely singularities and singular expressions that give way to the art created.

Oneness, revisited, in lost places or even a displaced innocence. Discarded items such as clothing and pills that are stained physically and/or psychologically, are charged to give new meaning. Sometimes primitive symbols and objects take on the role of the talisman. Malleable mediums such as chocolate and wax transform to give new meaning. A rebirth in much the same way as the lives of the artists whose work is shown here.

There is a stillness or solemnness about this group of work but in no way could it be considered lonely. Many of these artists must use meditation as a device to understand the self in a more human way. There is a push and pull as if standing in front of a mirror or even, coming out of a cocoon that is purveyed yet, triumphantly, they are reborn and find that light that pulls them closer to their real truths.

Ultimately, the paradox of this group of work is finding one's way and finding inner-strengths and understanding the singleness of a given situation or as I like to call it "Going Within."

b i o g r a p h y

Coffelt was a curator of many exhibitions at AGNES, a gallery in Birmingham, Alabama, he co-founded in 1992 with his partner Shawn Boley and their friend Jan Hughes. The gallery opened its doors with a mission statement to raise public awareness about various social issues, including cancer, death, dying, homelessness, ethics, civil rights and AIDS. After 8 years and 77 exhibitions the gallery closed its doors in 2000. Our first exhibition was Melissa Springer's "Julia Tutwiler Prison Series" and the last was Alexandre Glyadelov's "Homeless in Bosnia" with Médecins Sans Frontières. Coffelt has worked with Visual AIDS since "The Electric Blanket" and AGNES hosted it's first World's AIDS Day in 1992. Coffelt is a full-time artist who lives and works in New York using many different mediums to express himself. He considers himself more of a colorist than anything else. Coffelt has shown widely, including shows in Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York and Miami, as well as, Montreal, London and Barcelona.


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