Vertical Gallery presents Chicago artist Joseph Renda Jr.’s first solo exhibition “Biophilia”. Running from June 6-27, 2020, “Biophilia” brings together 32 new paintings and drawings examining humankind’s innate desire to connect with the natural world, urging viewers to contemplate their own role and responsibility in maintaining this relationship for the benefit of future generations. Renda will attend a special “Biophilia” opening-day event taking place on Saturday, June 6 from noon to 8:00 pm CT.
“Biophilia,” Renda’s first-ever solo gallery showcase, juxtaposes intricate, highly realistic imagery with boldly surrealistic flourishes to illuminate humanity’s complex relationship to the flora and fauna that enrich our shared environment. “I’ve always had an interest in nature and an interest in the connection between humans and nature, and that’s what the term ‘Biophilia’ embodies,” Renda explains. “I don’t mean for this work to be political. I simply want people to connect with the show in their own way — to experience their own Biophilia effect.”
While ‘Biophila’ draws on the classical oil painting techniques that distinguished Renda’s earlier work, these new pieces also pay explicit homage to the Surrealist and Dadaist movements of the early 20th century, in particular the innovations of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte. “My work has always had a surreal outlook, but it was very subtle. This time I pushed it more,” Renda says. “I’ve always been in love with the Surrealists, but they were about what was going on in the subconscious. That’s not how I create. It doesn’t come from the subconscious — it comes from the outside world.”