Alex Costantino: Parliament
April 28th to June 2nd, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 3PM to 5PM
Owls are a recurring image in Alex Costantino’s work. An icon of wisdom and strength and a brutal, nocturnal hunter, the owl is at times a mysterious link to mystical terrain, and at others a connection to the natural world. The subject provides the artist with a structure to explore many different aspects of himself and the world around him. Depending on the context, the owl can provide reflection on the id, the ego, or the superego. The nocturnal nature of the owl can reflect dreams, the imaginary, and the unconscious, its intelligence representing the rational and self-reflection. A group of owls is called a parliament.
Costantino fashions his ceramic owl sculptures with great care, drawing intricate patterns on the bodies of the birds. This technique gives the objects a totemic quality that glorifies them in a subtle manner. In his drawing, he leaves the narrative open-ended, allowing the viewers to fill in the blanks of the artwork with their own interpretations. In The Great Separation, the elaborate wing of the owl is ripped off, which could be a metaphor for the possibility of the animal’s extinction, or a theme of lost power, culture, or connection.
Costantino uses a great deal of pattern in his work. He applies it as an exploration of his own psyche. The question he attempts to answer with his artwork is “what would the world look like with this in it?” The answer: more intricate, complex, and generally pleasing.
About Alex Costantino
The artist works in a variety of media: ceramics, paint, pencil, print, video, and installation. Costantino’s work is marked by an expert use of colour, graffito, and wit. He works as an artist and art teacher in Burlington, Vermont. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute and a Masters in Fine Art from the University of South Florida.