Josh Keyes‘ new solo exhibition, entitled “Sprout”, began yesterday at the David B. Smith Gallery in Denver. Showcasing a series of paintings that explore the theme of overgrowth, Sprout will close July 3. The paintings make use of a broad vocabulary of animals and objects that position nature against a man-made landscape and create an anxious, unsettling vision of what the future may hold.
Sprout is an imaginative and playful response to Alan Weisman’s, The World Without Us. The exhibition will also feature an interactive sculpture: Keyes’ interpretation of the Boli (an artifact made by the Bamana People of West Africa which resembles an unidentifiable creature). The Boli draws spiritual power from layers of clay and sacrificial material (animal blood and bones, chewed nuts, honey, metal, and vegetable material) wrapped around a wooden core. Keyes’ version will provide soil and seeds that viewers can apply to the surface. By the end of the show, the seeds will have sprouted and grown, creating a strong symbol of community, ritual, and participation.