"Now, if 6 turned up to be 9,
I don't mind, I don't mind.
If all the hippies cut off their hair,
I don't care, I don't care.
Dig, 'cos I got my own world to live through
And I ain't gonna' copy you."
An independent spirit guides the artists in If 6 Was 9, who refuse to be pinned-down stylistically or conceptually. The work gathered for this visual pow-wow has an open-ended quality that speaks in tongues rather than French theory. Although some of the work may raise a viewer's pleasure principal, the artists' motive is more about finding their own way without caring about trends or conforming to fads. Karlos Cárcamo's art blends various historicized styles with a street aesthetic incorporating graffiti, hip hop culture and his Latino heritage, which is juxtaposed with the wistful thinking of Josh Jordan, whose suburban upbringing may have led to his conceptual rock and roll artworks, such as his JOSH Guitar. Amir Fallah's palette cranks it up a notch with his acid-hued still lives of bongs and foliage, which relate visually to Ketta Ioannidou's spiraling tendrils and explosions that exist in a nebulous purple haze and Panayiotis Terzis's otherworldly watercolors that have a mythical, narrative quality like a tripped-out planetarium. Judith Page's mixed-media sculptures encapsulate found objects with gooey tar gel to cartoony extremes, while the spliced and reconfigured playing cards of Eleanor White create new meaning from recognizable forms. If Giovanni Garcia-Fenech pares-down his renderings of man and nature into bold symbolic forms, then Mason Saltarrelli's intuitive mark-making channel spirits from another world. Kira Nam Greene's paintings use pattern, design and images of food to represent a pluralistic identity and the practice of painting in a post-modern era and Jacob Rhodes's quilts examine the unwritten rules of masculinity, class and same-sex social interactions. Put it all together and you have eleven artists raising their freak flag high…high.
Chris Bors, is a New York based artist whose work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1, White Columns, Envoy Gallery and the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York, Randall Scott Gallery in Washington, D.C., Casino Luxembourg in Luxembourg, Bahnwarterhaus in Esslingen, Germany, Bongout in Berlin and Archimede Staffolini Gallery in Nicosia, Cyprus. Bors has written for Artforum.com, Art in America, ArtReview and Artnet Magazine, among many other publications.