Rhys Gaetano, Untitled, (2019), Encaustic, 32 x 42 in, (Courtesy: Peter Piper Pictures).

One of the art projects is to reconcile us with the world, not as it is, but as “our starving senses desire it to be — neither hostile, nor indifferent, but full of meaning…” At least this is how venerable art critic Robert Hughes saw the matter. Difficult to disagree, especially these days, when hostility and division rules and our senses are benumbed in seclusion. And this is why Fantastic Voyage, an exhibition that is now landed in Red Hook, Brooklyn, resonates deeply, as it generates a sense of community and wonder.

Fantastic Voyage, Exhibition View (Courtesy: Peter Piper Pictures).

Fantastic Voyage is an assemblage of artistic visions brought together by predominately local artists. Organized by Peter Piper Pictures, Fantastic Voyage found its temporary home in a newly built contemporary structure on the corner of Conover Street in Red Hook. As of yet undetermined, the building’s purpose is now informed by a kaleidoscope of visual parallel worlds conjured in its sunlit second-floor studio space.

What: Fantastic Voyage

When: from October 5th — November 22, 2020

Where:  202 Conover Street, Brooklyn

Anne Deleporte, Fata Morgana, (2020), ink and graphite on canvas 6×12 in ( Courtesy: Peter Piper Pictures).

The show comprises twenty participants — an eclectic medley of artists at different stages of their career, including the established ones, such as Maryse Alberti, Keith Wilson,  Beatrice Pediconi, and Stephen J. Shanabrook. One of the effects of such an amalgam of a show is its dreamlike feel. Sci-fiction-like pieces, such as Anne Deleporte’ s Fata Morgana that invokes images of extraterrestrial objects or, as in her Drawing News, extraterrestrial landscapes, are mounted alongside Shura Skaya, Veronika Sheer, and Jeannie Weissglass’s visual fairytales.

James Hyde, Longpart, (1997), Styrofoam, 16x17x50 in (Courtesy: Peter Piper Pictures).

The dreamlike feel is amplified by the temporal distortion— while some works take us forward in time, others are aesthetical throwbacks, like James Hyde’s frescoes, which, while made from new materials, such as Styrofoam,  refer us to classical art forms. Just as is Stephen Dean’s work Double Target — made of uncoiled dartboard mounted on museum board, it resembles ritual mandalas.

Shura Skaya, Two Cherries (2019), oil on canvas, 12×12 in (Courtesy: Peter Piper Pictures).

Fantastic Voyage is a special treat —the signal of wanderlust that is borne by art, threaded throughout a hodgepodge of artistic practices, gives rise to a sense of levity. And this is even before one considers frequent live music performances that are staged inside, and outside of, the exhibition space.

Stephen Shanabrook, Fossil of the Last Century of the American Empire, (2015), Pressed Plastic, 53×4 in (Courtesy: Peter Piper Pictures).