Kravitz Contemporary is pleased to present ‘Under the Jaguar Sun’, a group exhibition curated by Warsaw-based Kamil #2. Referencing a collection of short stories by Italo Calvino bearing the same title, the exhibition engages the notion of a non-earthly sun. The charge of ambient or atmospheric lighting has played a significant role in the lexicon of realist techniques familiar to painting.

Citing a new, technological brilliance capable of changing the way in which we perceive reality, ‘Under the Jaguar Sun’ unites a group of contemporary painters whose work attends to mixed uses of natural and artificial light for their subject matters. Future-oriented visions of alternative worlds imbue the classical painterly quest with new challenges; the plasticity of the medium, for example, at once imparts reflections on modern materials in Appleby’s work, and stymies the relinquishment of a past depicted by ghostly emanations in Guo’s. Delighting in new pictorial languages adapted to express the complexity of today’s world order, ‘Under the Jaguar Sun’ reveals the tradition of painting as one continually able to be renewed, still necessary and relevant.

Floor Plan

1.     Yage Guo
        “The Moth Disturbs The Night”, 2022
        Oil on canvas, 210 x 160 cm

2.     Wiktor Galka
        “Hyperportrait IX”
        Acrylic on canvas, 85 x 70 cm

3.     Louis Appleby
        “Memory Loss”, 2022
        Acrylic on wood, 130 x 100 cm

4.     Mattia Guarnera MacCarthy
        “Sapere”, 2022
        Acrylic on canvas, 170 x 140 cm

5.     Louis Appleby
        “The Years Around Your Life”, 2022
        Acrylic on wood, 130 x 100 cm

6.     Mattia Guarnera MacCarthy
        “Sapore”, 2022
        Acrylic on canvas, 170 x 140 cm

7.     Yage Guo
        Untitled, 2022
        Oil on canvas , 50 x40 cm

8.     Julia Kowalska
        Untitled, 2022
        Oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm

9.     Julia Kowalska
        Untitled, 2022
        Oil on canvas, 140 x 110 cm

10.   Yage Guo
        “Apparition by Window”
        Oil on canvas, 80 x 60 cm

11.     Victor Galka
        “Hyperportrait XII”, 2022
          Acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100 cm

And the boys with hoods up sport irrational eye bags. These guys have serious jokes and burly silhouettes that crowd out the pavements. The streetlamps shed light, the dark sky spits grey rain, and still, this standing chiaroscuro is a shape out of heaven. With the beauty of a painting to subtend my despair. Deep in these red nights is a computer-generated stop-gap between the self and the world. Here, I live by my own rules, yeah, I am riven with unnameable wants.

The trains they move through networks as worms do, and commuters scuttle to them with the rodents and roaches, letting off gorgeously orange plumes. French kiss to a soft outline, shine, shine. Etched into the corner of the blocks are expired bottles lining the windows of off-licenses like orphaned children. Their newspapers are limp and sun-faded, and I’m certain pop stars have sung prettier songs.

I don’t know. But my life is roomy for a non-sequitur. The broken glass strewn like confetti is a sweetheart at the bar with an errant wink. Oh, great rejoinder! What must it be to listen to all that louche diatribe, hogwash and tripe. Snake is the game he plays to show he is bored, pointed elbow at the counter. Its body jangles for his secret solace, blue light bounces off his soft face. Boy, could you ever know a tenderness like nausea, terrible like the hunt.

He is tough like the heart of an uncut diamond. The city is halved by the poetry of neons, they inflame the passion in the rosette of his chin, his tenderloin cuts. Beside him, I wake up in the approximation of drunkenness, sense-blind and fragile as a new-born. The wan light of the desert sun blooms from the throat of the corridor, but alas, he has forgotten who I am. Goodbyes are tall and hard, but I know that long after we are gone, a different shadow will claim our names.

Words by Elaine Tam