Centuries ahead of modern medicine’s grasp, Aristotle’s chicken egg experiment heralded the heart's paramount importance. The latest exhibition at one of Los Angeles’ emerging galleries, SPY Projects, delves into this ancient understanding of the heart as the center of both or corporeal and spiritual functions.
Founded in the summer of 2021 amid the heat of the pandemic, SPY Projects is the brainchild of Pietro Alexander, Gabriella Rothbart, and Sasha Filimonov. The trio has created a space challenging conventions, crossing borders, and transcending distinctions.
Currently, SPY Projects presents “Growth Spurts,” featuring the artwork of Jaxon Demme, a Los Angeles-based artist. In Demme’s pieces, the human heart becomes a symbol of vitality within woodland settings. Fairies and six-legged fauna with vacant stares convene around the disembodied organ, connected by cannulae, with delicate collaged paper contrasted against robust paintings.
The exhibition’s titular work, “growth spurt,” challenges viewers to glimpse the underlying emotions and realities at the intersection of maturity and feminity. Beneath the layers of paper and paint lies a metaphor for enduring trauma — the underpainting symbolizes the heart’s history.
Artworks like “my angels don’t blink” are displayed on the wall at a grand scale of 8x6 feet. Their combination of graphite, colored pencils, and various textures from found paper and papier-mâché gaze stoically back at viewers.
Demme recently exhibited “Finding Her” at SPY Projects and “Celestial Cues” at No Gallery in New York.
Growth Spurts will be on display at SPY Projects until September 1.