In a culture where hiding behind a mask is the norm, artist Al Gury strives to reflect the frustration, pain and happiness that people feel everyday.
People hide their true selves behind masks. Trends and makeup give off an appearance, whether it is wealthy, seductive or simply confident. When the makeup is removed and the clothes taken off, a new story emerges.
In “Figure Painting and Drawing,” Al Gury captures the soul by portraying the daily emotions of the individual.
The exhibit, running at the University of the Arts, depicts volatile bodies delving into controversial issues such as sexuality, gender identification and the cult of domesticity.
“After receiving a Venture Fund Grant from the University of the Arts, I decided to use the funding to support work in figure painting and drawing,” Gury said in a statement made to students.
Gury’s drawings include charcoal and pastel figure drawings of faceless women and men in the nude. Each depicts different movements.
In “Figure Drawing #3,” Gury presents a naked man kneeling humbly as if in prayer. Each exhibit, such as this one, demonstrates Gury’s artistic genius and pension for detail.
“This process has led to oil paintings which utilized [the] drawing study in the service of realizing images that derives both from observance and imagination,” Gury said.
The exhibit is an extensive collection of artwork ranging from an oil painting, “Adam and Eve,” to a study entitled, “Angry, Crazy Dream.”
In “Angry, Crazy Dream,” the observer can see the mask being ripped off. The male is standing naked in a sea of color.
Multiple arms, some stained with blood, reach out from every direction and grab hold of someone or something to rescue the male from his self-inflicted hell.
Each of Gury’s drawings captures activity and motion as they attempt to capture the human spirit in all its manifestations.
“[My work is] the result of an ongoing body of work that combines study with personal exploration,” Gury said.
“Figure Painting and Drawing” is featured at Gallery One, 320 S. Broad St., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Alexis Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.