London based artist Nick Gentry debuted his solo exhibition, Psychic Compound, this week at C24 Gallery. I am absolutely in love with their new space and couldn’t wait to attend an opening reception. My affinity for their new headquarters withstanding, there was a little skepticism at first because Gentry’s work didn’t really speak me when I first laid eyes upon it. I soon found out photographs do little justice to his pieces. From afar the portraits look glitchy, serene and welcoming. All of the aforementioned attributes draw you in but it is the detail that swallows your attention whole; not to mention the process behind the pieces make the work very noteworthy.
Before walking into the gallery I was transfixed by the intense but soft gaze of Metronome. The piece made eye contact with every passerby, calling them in through the glass. Along with Composition Number 2, it was one of the two works in the show that seem to have a glowing glare that followed you around the room. Meanwhile works such as Dream, Void and Switch stared off pensively as if they were in some deep thought. Spire, a 23-foot installation, sprung up in the distance and was a towering magnet for those in attendance. Other attendees, including myself, leaned in closed on the pieces, inspecting them with great intrigue and awe. Some stood in front of a piece for longer than expected, gripped by its detail.
Sporting a turquoise button up and a winning smile, Gentry was busy striking up conversation with those curious about the work. I managed to steal Gentry away for a second and he revealed some hidden gems about his process. He pointed out that his usage of “archaic” technologies addresses the concept of identity in world of consumerism and advance machinery. While Gentry provides commentary on consumerism, cyber culture and identity by using dead and/or obsolete technologies, he also has the good intention of uniting us at a time when the world is noticeably divided. By welcoming materials from all over the world he is piecing together an endearing puzzle that is waiting to be solved.
“I tried to make the work about people and connections between us and remind us that we’re all connected… though you can’t always see it, it always there to be felt.”
– Nick Gentry
Psychic Compound will be on display through September 9th. If you are in the Chelsea be sure to stop by C24 Gallery (560 West 24th Street) and see the show for yourself. In the meantime, check some photos from opening night.