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Beasticon II: Monstrous Art Opens 12/11 at Mark Miller Gallery

As the holidays approach with their lacquered joy and retail crescendo, some may feel a rumble of discord within, anathema to the holiday spirit, causing them to turn away from the glitter. It is from this camp of malcontents and realists that curators Lori Nelson and Antony Zito selected their pack of 27 artists for Beasticon II: Monstrous Art by Uncaged Creatures hosted by Mark Miller Gallery at 92 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side in New York City, December 11, 2014-January 11, 2015.

Beasticon II is an exhibition that could be viewed as an anti-SantaCon. Instead of hollow conviviality and amped-up displays of holiday spirit, the artists were asked to fearlessly reflect inward on the nature of the Beast or the shadow self. They responded with art that is funny, frightening, and overwhelmingly human.

Contributing work from Australia, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York City, this year's Beasticon II artists range from emerging to mid-career and span social categories to include synthpunk band, Mindless Self Indulgence's starlet, Lindsey Way, New York City street-performer-gone-Internet-sensation, Mathew Silver, culture-jamming activists, the Yes Men, as well as Mica Hendricks, an artist mom famous for her exquisite collaborations with her 4 year-old. Joshua Ben Longo, a creative consultant by day in Philly constructs grotesque but cuddly soft sculptures by night, and Emmie Campbell, a Brooklyn teen, spends many a school-hour on ink drawings in her notebook that do nothing for her GPA but are arresting for their raw beauty. The large street front window of the gallery will become a work of beastly public art itself during installation-week as Bronx-based Tina Lugo, a self-described erotic artist and indulger of video-games and '90s cartoons, creates a full-fledged painting on glass in a style that marries Henry Darger with the Brothers Hernandez of Love and Rockets. As a celebration of the Beast, Beasticon II strives to sate the viewer, even the casual passerby, with meaty content in a climate of non-nutritive fruitcakes and nogs by hauling out for consumption the Beast which dwells within. To Socrates' observation that, "In all of us, even in good men, there is a lawless wild-beast nature, which peers out in sleep," Nelson and Zito dare to add, "...and in the Holiday season."

Please join Mark Miller Gallery at the Beasticon II opening reception, December 11, 2014 from 6-9:00 pm featuring a live performance by Matthew Silver and others as well as book signing by Mica Hendricks of Share With Me, a book of collaborative drawings she created with her 4 year-old daughter.

For a sampling of exhibition works, go here. Beasticon II

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