Oil mixed on canvas, 30 x 24 in.
Thursday, September 6, 2018 | 6-8 pm
Georges Bergès Gallery is pleased to present Ben Birillo’s Spirit Dogs. Birillo’s work falls squarely within the Pop culture vernacular. Like his contemporaries Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenberg, and Richard Artschwager, Birillo’s work draws heavily on his life experiences in America following World War II. In Spirit Dogs, Birillo examines modernity through the lens of folklore and ceremony. While traveling in the Yukon, Birillo became intrigued by myth of the wendigo, a malevolent spirit characterized by insatiable appetite. In these new paintings, Birillo draws stylistically and thematically upon the artwork and sculpture of the Yukon’s indigenous peoples. Through this body of work, Birillo wrestles with the forces of good and evil: it is both an exploration of the wendigo lurking in us all as well as an antidote for that threat.
Ben Birillo was a major creative and promotional force behind the Pop Art movement. In 1964, Birillo organized the groundbreaking exhibition, The American Supermarket, which included work by budding stars Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselman, and Billy Apple. More than fifty years later, Birillo’s landmark exhibition still garners accolades. Today, Birillo lives and works in the Hudson River Valley.