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Review: Invisible Ping and Absence and Presence 

New work by Brian Guidry and Monica Zeringue at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

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It always is around, but you can't always see it. Its presence ebbs and flows; it can be big and bloody, or barely visible and pale as snow. The moon is linked to madness and witchcraft — as well as to women, so it fits neatly into Monica Zeringue's Goddesses and Monsters series in which female figures mingle with lunar mysticism. In Narcissus, a Zeringue-looking nude gazes into a puddle of water and sees herself reflected as the full moon. Rendered in graphite, it is a luminously cool self portrait flanked by a series of detailed close-ups of the moon rendered in graphite and dark beads on white primed linen. Blood Moon, depicted in deep crimson oils, beads and hair, is more personal, as is Flesh Moon with its bodily aura of warm, moist organs secreted deep within the body. But Cusp, with its decorous white pigment, gold beads and flowery red wallpaper, evokes otherworldly harmony. Zeringue's finely painted Post Tenebras Lux (pictured) transforms her own visage into a vertiginous reflection of the ever-shifting phases of the moon in a new example of the old mystical adage, "As above, so below."

  Brian Guidry's rigorously executed abstractions have long suggested meditations on symmetry and surprise, harmony and heraldry, nature and manipulation. But now there are some new approaches, as seen in Cool Down Active, where buoyant, floating forms and randomized textures suggest a larger role for the laws of chance. All hell breaks loose in Absolute Zero as free-form pigments blast forth from an invisible seam in space, and if the colors are pure Guidry, their serpentine ripples convey an expansive aura that makes the 5-square-foot canvas seem bigger than it is. Formal order is restored in the purple, green, gold and fuchsia tones of Serenity Amp, where mystical geometry vibrates to the rhythm of textured Shroud-of-Turin-like markings that look like they might perform an electronic music requiem if scanned.

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