November 18th, 2014
Ge Yi (Chinese)
In Search of the Supernatural, series 2 (2012)
Oil on canvas
Everything I know about Chinese artist Ge Yi — which ain’t much — comes from artnet.com, where I first stumbled upon his?/her? paintings. They were mostly similar to the one above: tumescent fruit-flesh masses hovering in different-colored skies — some green, some blood-red –, each red-tipped as if bug-bitten or flushed + erogenous. Sedate brush work, coloring and style. In some of the paintings, the meat-fruit planets are being explored by little figures in spacesuits, while some are bereft of visitors, as in the example above.
That premise in and of itself is rather banal. Tits/ass as fruit shapes, gasp!, etc. But there’s something about the flat, matter-of-fact way Yi represents his ideas that hits me. Key here is that the sexuality isn’t loud, isn’t garish, it’s just there in a relaxed and untitillating way. It’s a trio of cleft, red-tinged masses drifting softly around the atmosphere. The nipply bits could easily be geysers, volcanoes. The clefts could be mouths. Or the aureola could be seen as eye or mouth organs for these living planets, allowing them to commune & cluster & whisper.
The title prompts us to wonder what’s beyond the natural, what’s not of this earth, perhaps even “What is mystical? What is divine?”, and then causes us to ask: “Where do I find these things?” So many associations co-exist in this painting: sex, fruit, planets, disease, flower, blood, the extraterrestrial, geology, eruption, small-scale vs. celestial. If a nexus in fact existed connecting all these things, and one were on the hunt for the celestial-divine, I’m thinking said nexus wouldn’t be a bad place to start looking.
For more of Ge Yi’s paintings, please check out www.artnet.com.