Ekundayo’s anthropomorphic malformations bear a curious semblance root vegetables such as ginger, potatoes or parsnips. Yet these fiends could just as well be creating themselves despite their gnarled despondency, as they could be unraveling before our eyes; many of them cling to each other or themselves with a childlike tenderness as they alternately writhe and meditate.
If Ekundayo succeeds in balancing careful, tautly-rendered classicism and the stylization of contemporary street art, Clay decidedly leans towards the latter aesthetic. While Ekundayo’s figures are simultaneously fleshy and emaciated, Clay’s women, in particular, are uniformly anemic and doll-like. Indeed, his angular, fanciful variations on warriors– from ninjas and pirates to bears and tigers– appear animated but lack the visceral vitality of Ekundayo’s creatures.
Similarly, the exaggerated sense of mischievousness makes Clay’s work look cartoonish, for better or worse, opposite Ekundayo’s compellingly grotesque bestiary.
Although the title “Duality” captures the contrast only through the vagueness of the term, we can certainly expect great things to come from both artists. The show is well worth the hike out to Bushwick; the gallery is a short block and a half from the Morgan Ave stop on the L train.
Ekundayo and Joshua Clay “Duality” Exhibition
April 3rd – May 3rd, 2009
Ad Hoc Art (front gallery)
49 Bogart St
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Words & Photography: Raymond Hu