It may seem like a contradiction in terms to say that in order to tell the story of the universe, from its very nascent origins to its undetermined future, there requires just as much artistic license as scientific evidence. But that is perhaps what Casey Cripe aims to reveal in his ambitious solo show, “One Is All Is One” at Mirus Gallery. Cripe’s large-scale paintings and handmade collages tackle widely-encompassing and at times convoluted subject matter like human anatomy, the life cycles of the animal and natural world, and the vastly unexplored structure of the Universe, which is just a small portion of his greater ambitions, and the larger intent with this body of work. Cripe’s “One is All Is One” transcends the paradigm suite of works for a solo exhibition, as he says it illustrates merely a small stepping stone along a longer and bolder path for an opus of works that will encourage further dialogue and deeper engagement with greater meaningful ideals.
Formally educated in Traditional Illustration and Religious Studies, the Silicon Valley native dropped out of art school to begin this larger project. For the artist capturing the beauty of anatomical figures and scientific complexities can’t be accomplished in one painting, or a series of works. Fashioned from a wide array of diagrams, illustrations, and cultural artifacts found in in libraries, bookstores and websites, the works in “One Is All Is One” explore life, self, and the universe from the very narrow human visual and cultural consciousness. A juxtaposition of the real and hyper-real, Cripe’s creative renderings take him through space and time by way of tangible cultural objects and material to explore existence of the self and its relationship with the universe. But these illustrations are an integral part of a larger cyclic, “meta-narrative” — small vignettes that will further unfold into a greater story, formed through a lifetime creative journey of the mysterious relationship between the galaxies in the universe and the humanity within one’s self.
Casey Cripe, “One Is All Is One” will be at Mirus Gallery, 540 Howard Street through September 12, 2015.