Mount Saint Mary College celebrated the opening of its newest CMA Gallery exhibit, “Transition” with art from local Hudson Valley artist Philippe Safire on Saturday, October 29.
The CMA art gallery is open to the Mount community and the public Monday through Friday during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it is located on campus, on the first floor of Aquinas Hall.
Safire’s exhibit consisted of 12 works, all of which were created this year, and were made using colored pencils and black paper cutouts. “Transition” was created using pixels, and acts as a metaphor for the influence of ever-changing technologies in today’s world. In addition, he included two animation and video works.
“Growing up abroad in a French-Armenian family, I experienced a cultural shift in moving to New York City,” said Safire, on his website. “The pace of the city accelerates one’s exposure to information and technology.”
In the Digital Age the dematerialization of these objects is in progress; Safire examines the aesthetic of this transition.
“Living in these surroundings, I seek to translate our fascination for the digital and its power to disrupt our society and culture,” said Safire.
Safire also enjoys incorporating well known symbols and pop culture iconography within his art.
"I find Philippe Safire's work intriguing on a number of levels," said Chris Neyen, associate professor of Art and Graphic Design, CMA Gallery Coordinator, and Director of the Communication, Art, and Digital Media Program at the Mount. "It engaged our senses with color, shape and imagery along with symbology that we immediately recognize and respond to."
The gallery pieces consist of carved replicas of the world atlas, the American flag, human silhouettes, and the “like” icon from social media apps.
"The viewer is left with contemplation and reflection on the meaning and consequences of a world replete in digital experiences," added Neyen.
The mission of the Mount’s CMA Gallery is to exhibit professional art and media picked by Mount faculty from among the rising population of artists who live and work in Newburgh, Beacon, and throughout the Hudson Valley. The gallery space features focused lighting to highlight the artwork on the first floor of the college’s main academic building.