The Result of Chuck Sperry’s Silkscreen Work is “Only Human”

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Harman Projects, NYC // April 13, 2024 – May 04, 2024

Inspired by our human impulse to create, Chuck Sperry’s solo exhibition Only Human at Harman Projects underscores what it means to be a maker in the 21st century. The exhibition spans Sperry’s long and influential career, featuring new silkscreen prints from the artist’s ongoing “Muse” series and rare works from his archive. Straddling fine art, entertainment, and craftsmanship, Sperry believes being “only” human is something extraordinary.

When algorithms and computers do creative work, where do artists or craftsmen fit in? This question is personal for Sperry: as the design and production of cultural ephemera is increasingly automated or outsourced, his dedication to silk screen printing and the art of the gig poster has become somewhat anomalous. Still, he’s confident that the human spark of creativity will persist. “[A]rt made by humans for humans in physical reality is imbued with the soul of our humanity,” the artist reflects. “Our uniquely mortal heart and immortal spirit, drawn from our human culture, our human collective unconscious and experience, will transcend the current imperative for non-human and virtual intervention in the art space.”

Drawing influence from the playwrights and artisans of Classical Antiquity to the hybrid artist- designers of the Art Nouveau movement, Sperry’s vivid, colorful screen prints merge the worlds of art, entertainment, and politics seamlessly just as his predecessors did. Patterns of brightly colored foliage emanate from behind a woman’s head, her hair falling across her body or taken up by a gust of wind. Often, she looks directly at the viewer, standing in her power and control. These muses carry names from Greek mythology, tracing their knowledge and image to the goddesses of art, science, and religion. Sperry’s ongoing interest in ancient knowledge and texts, like the Orphic Hymns, places his practice of image-making into a long—and very human—lineage. Reanimating ideas and icons that have persisted since ancient history, Sperry taps into enduring human ideals of art and storytelling to celebrate the complexities of being only human.

Please join the gallery on April 13th from 6 pm to 8 pm at 210 Rivington Street in New York City for the opening of Only Human.

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