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SHOW DATES: 1.21.06 – 3.4.06 OPENING RECEPTION: 1.21.06 6-9 pm

Deborah Colton Gallery is pleased to present Hedonistic Imperative, a group exhibition by 12 artists who have temporarily broken with their “hedonic treadmill” and try to imagine an idyllic post-human, post-sexual, silicon enhanced future for our decedents. The show takes its title from futurist David Pearce’s utopian web published manifesto. Pearce believes, “…the world’s last unpleasant experience will be a precisely dateable event.” In the next millennium we will rise above our Draconian existence and be born again into a 'psychochemical nirvana'." The reception will be held Saturday, January 14, 2006, from 6-9 p.m.

The exhibition is curated by Brooklyn-based artist Graham Guerra and includes work by: James Adams, Matt Borrusco, Carl D'Alvia, Michael Joaquin Grey, Paul Jacobsen, Jerry Kearns, Kim Keever, Ted Mineo, Norm Paris, Michael Rees, Robert Yarber, and Suzanne Walters.

Guerra says, "Hedonistic Imperative is a rebuke to the ubiquitous apocalyptic visions of the future propagated by everyone from politicians and religious leaders to science fiction authors and Hollywood disaster films. Americans have so internalized the validity of an apocalyptic end of the earth (nuclear holocaust, polar ice caps melting, biblical fire and brimstone) that much of our lives our lived in a reactionary response to this anxiety. We spend 396 billion dollars on military and defense each year, vote for politicians who support preemptive war, stock our fall out shelters, say our prayers, and wait for the worst."

The artists in the exhibition try to inhabit the profoundly altered consciousness and bodies of our "super well" descendants, in works that range in media from painting, drawing, and sculpture to video and photography.

Artists Michael Rees, Jerry Kearns, and James Adams construct romanticized mutant versions of the human form. Adams makes use of painterly virtuosity and his affinity for historic portraiture in work that combines traditional figuration with exaggerated and wholly unnatural forms. Jerry Kearns’ paintings and multimedia work merge citizen consumers with the objects they fetishize, creating omni potent and amoral contemporary monsters: Christ as a transformer, football player as cyborg, and fashion models as bionic war machines. Michael Rees animations and sculptures radically reconstruct the human body into arachnid-like creatures made up of human fingers and legs that look like they escaped form a paranoid Cronenbergian future. But as Rees’ animation shows us, these automatons are up to nothing more sinister than learning to walk.

Suzanne Walters, Carl D’Aliva, and Ted Mineo rely less on distorted human models to create their utopic visions. Walters’ paintings are inhabited by malformed deer like figurines frolicking in a hazy polychrome bliss. These china cabinet runaways, like H.G. Wells’ Eloi from the year 802701, live in a future where all of the natural forces have been sublimated for their pleasure. D’Aliva’s highly crafted sculptures are monuments from an alternate hairy human like civilization. His enigmatic work includes fur-covered monoliths, apes, and a dog with a V8 engine for a head riffs on popular portrayals of evolution, technology, and breeding. Ted Mineo’s delicately rendered drawings and paintings resemble overwrought sci-fi and fantasy novel dust jacket illustrations. Mineo’s quixotic world is the timeless adolescent Eden of continual pining and unfulfilled desire.

Graham Day Guerra is guest curator for Hedonistic Imperative. Guerra graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in painting in 1998 and Yale School of Art in 2003 with an MFA in painting/printmaking. Guerra has been selected to participate in many national and international shows since that time, including Deborah Colton Gallery’s Touch and Temperature: Art in the Age of Cybernetic Totalism exhibition which had its Houston debut in October 2004. Guerra lives and works in New York.

The exhibition continues through March 4, 2006

Deborah Colton Gallery is an innovative showcase for historical and visionary contemporary art. The gallery is located on the third floor of 2500 Summer Street between Interstate 10 (Taylor Street exit) and Washington Boulevard in Houston. You may contact the gallery at 713-869-5151 or . You may also visit the gallery's website at