Ghost Stories

May 11 - June 9 2019

Opening Reception Saturday, May 11 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Ortega y Gasset Projects is pleased to present Ghost Stories, a two-person exhibition featuring recent work by Norm Paris and Mark Shetabi, curated by Ortega y Gasset Projects Co-Director Lauren Whearty. The opening reception is on Saturday, May 11th, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.  The exhibition will close with a catalogue launch and closing event on June 9th.

Ghost Stories presents Paris’ and Shetabi’s investigations into the inexplicable, the ghostly, and the ominous. Their works access viewers’ experiences of the familiar, transforming it into a haunting encounter. Norm Paris’ Monuments series of large-scale graphite drawings and plaster sculptures show the material and psychological making and unmaking of his subjects in ways which look to the past for glimpses into the future. Mark Shetabi’s sculptures based on movie theatres and hotel lobbies evoke a sense of a space that feels both distant and intimate as one discovers their eerie charms from a very close range. The play in both bodies of work between monumental and miniscule scale flips our expectations of things both epic and intimate.

Story and history converge and resurface as images and forms are unearthed through material processes, selected subjects, and obstructed views. Each artist’s work is alive and in a constant state of flux, where the viewer feels the residue of the artist’s process of making, unmaking, reframing, and editing.

Mark Shetabi (Philadelphia, PA) was born in New York, and as a child lived for five years in Tehran, Iran before his family returned to the United States in 1979, on the eve of the Iranian Revolution.  The experience of straddling two cultures often in conflict is an enduring subtext for much of his work. Shetabi’s paintings and sculptures are made with the same materials and tools and as a result, share a skin. Through his work, Mark uses representations of familiar subjects to provide a visual access to a subjective and disjointed overview of Iranian and American histories, politics and possible futures.

Norm Paris (New York, NY) is an artist from Cleveland, Ohio. He creates sculptures, drawings, and mixed-media works that explore his complicated relationship to popular culture of the recent past, focusing on objects, iconography, and mythology that alternately aggrandize and diminish historical figures over time. Paris re-envisions once heroic figures as relics, ruins, and absences; these bygone icons—once-celebrated athletes and musicians sourced from a mix of personal and public mythologies—are used as vessels to be modeled, covered, crated, or redacted. He alternately renders and obscures his iconography through labor-intensive processes of drawing, casting, and erasure

Open Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM and by appointment