Since his first show with the gallery in 2013, Canal’s work has been featured in esteemed publications such as RV PAPERS, The Wall Street Journal, a cover feature of The British Journal of Photography, and his first monograph book, Dreamtime. He was invited to participate at the UNSEEN photography fair 2014 in Amsterdam and the P2P PHotoEspaña 2014 in Madrid. The new body of work was created in New York and Rochester over the past two years.
Magic Garden presents new photography, video, and sculpture. The exhibition’s eponymous sculptures, assembled from colorful pieces of foundplastic, radiate totemic energy. One photographic series, Beautiful Mystery, features a typical American suburban den — replete with faux wood paneling, baseboard radiator, and gold rug — metamorphosed into a surreal backdrop for tactile anthropomorphic figures who are all the more beguiling for their context.
“I began to work on Beautiful Mystery with the intention of producing a series of still lifes, but what emerged instead were portraits. So, the project took an entirely different path. For me, it is important to let the work speak and tell me what it wants to be, without imposing any preconceived notions.” In doing so, Canal reveals the world that lies beneath the surface of immediate sensation, a subliminal cosmos of awe and magic.
The artist’s video, Hologram, depicts characters who embark on a journey from darkness and fear to light and love. According to Canal, “the external world of Hologram is a manifestation of the characters’ subconscious. They communicate with each other through a choreography that transforms them.” He believes that optimism and illusion are contagious, and hopes that his work will have a similarly transformative effect on the viewer.
Like a hologram, the coherent totality of Canal’s universe can be accessed through each of the works on view. Every piece activates a dimension where memory, imagination, and reality are mutable and inextricably linked. Magic Garden is imbued with wondrous intent.
Exhibition text by Sara Rubinow, co-director of RV.PAPERS