SAINTS AND SINNERS. THE INFERNAL NOW BY DAVID ROHN
Dot Fiftyone Gallery in collaboration with 2b Non-Profit presents David Rohn's solo show at the gallery curated by Janet Batet.
Saints and Sinners. The Infernal Now is a cautionary tale about the risks of irrational fears, selfishness, and intolerance in our times. A poetic journey of self-awareness where the eternal cycles of decay and rebirth are enlightened by the knowledge, and subsequent action as the only path to redemption.
Like Dante himself, Rohn is a pilgrim. His journey takes place as an outcast traversing that ever-growing –and invisible to the eye– dark woods that are the pilasters of Miami's highways. Consciously, and for many years now, Rohn has displaced his artistic practice from the gallery into the streets. Self-portraiture and interactive performances in the urban dystopian landscape have become the sympathetic unfolding of the self that restores the dignity of the invisible people in our city. People are perceived as mere stereotypes, most of the time pictured as sinners when they are nothing but the victims of pretend saints, those who hold and define the structure of power.
Rohn’s artistic practice has been coupled over the years with direct intervention helping the homeless population and teaching art at Homeless and Recovery institutions in Miami. Saints and Sinners. The Infernal Now is a collaborative show with his art students from the Camillus House.
Structured in three sections, like the Divine Comedy itself, The Infernal Now uses the entrance of the gallery as a transitional space, a sort of limbo that prepares the viewer for the journey ahead. The main gallery houses the nine Dantesque circles, each of them in direct interaction with artworks from the Camillus House students, who like Dante, Rohn, and ourselves, are facing their own fears.
Making use of photography, self-portrait, and collage, David Rohn recreates intricate passages where history, myths, literature, symbolism and references to Art History are interwoven into a thorny fable of our time. Like Dante, Rohn prefers the use of popular culture materials (glitter, graffiti, color pencils, discarded materials) and atypical scenarios (urban edge spaces like freeway underpass, parking lots, mall entrances, Fast food restaurant exteriors). Gravitating around each of the circles in a growing rhizomatic structure are the artworks from the Camillus House students.
David Rohn has exhibited and been reviewed widely in South Florida over the past 25 years, including virtually all the local/regional museums, alternative spaces and galleries, and many publications. He has also exhibited occasionally in New York, LA and Berlin.
His interest in art history and extended stays in France and Italy continue to affect his work and catalyze a conscious effort to dialogue with art and artists of the past as the series based on Dante’s Inferno and the series of Catholic Saints attest.
Rohn’s work has been included and widely reviewed at many galleries and museums in S. Florida, New York, and L.A. and continues performative collaborative projects individually and with Partner Danilo de La Torre, (and other collaborators) under the LaboMamo Collab (www.labomamo.com), and his self-portrait-based, unofficial public art projects.
David Rohn: Saints and Sinners. Individual Exhibition.
Until March 3rd, 2023.
Dot Fiftyone Gallery. 7275 NE 4th Ave, Miami, FL 33138, United States.