07 Dec 3 Kings Art Exhibition – Nov 24th through Jan 27th
Tis the season for our favorite Christmas album to remind us of the baby in the manger visited by three wise men from far off lands. Whether they are called three wise men, three magi, or three kings, these exceptional gentlemen exemplify the core reason we give gifts amidst the snowflakes, jingle bells, and mistletoe. This month, three exceptional gentlemen from far off lands will gift Bayonne’s Bridge Art Gallery with their vivid artwork in the Three Kings Art Exhibition. Born and raised in Mexico City, Nesteron (Nestor) Uraga, shares the kinetic energy of his explosive murals and paintings with Bayonne. Although Nestor moved to Los Angeles at age 19, this vibrant artist cherishes his Mexican heritage: “At the beginning, my art was influenced by political stuff in Mexico,” Uraga humbly responds, “Now I look more into my culture and family. Most of my work is about my culture. My parents are from Oaxaca and my people are pretty colorful. Most of my pieces are pretty colorful.”
Uraga was always interested in drawing. During his early teens in Mexico, graffiti was very popular. That very first can of spray paint set Nestor on the path to becoming a skilled muralist. Brooklyn native and formidable talent Chris Mack, brings a more homegrown perspective to the Three Kings Exhibition with a stylistic evolution rooted in vintage comics. “It started when I was younger. My brother drew Tarzan fighting an alligator and I loved it,” Mack chuckles, getting lost in his memories, “And then my cousin drew Master of Kung Fu fighting Iron Fist. Those were my two early influences that kept me wanting to draw.” Mack has been drawing African masks for some years now. With his modern take on African hieroglyphics, Mack is sprinkling an “Afrocentric influence” on the Christmas season.
Born in Trinidad and raised in Jamaica, Queens, deeply reflective Damian Dickson illuminates how the personal is universal: “My art is kinda timeless. I paint about life issues – I don’t paint about current events.” Dickson responds with great conviction, “If someone sees my art 50 years from now, it should have the same impact as it does today. I try to make art that is truly timeless – that people of all ages can relate to. From all times.” From DON’T WAIT IN VAIN, inspired by the Bob Marley song, to REGRET, wrapping us in the arms of those we’ve let go, to HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE, echoing our hopes and dreams waiting at the bottom of the sea, Dickson’s work embraces humanity’s poignant and often overlooked threads. “I would like people to get inspired. We don’t value our experiences the way we should. We value trauma.” Dickson’s optimism shines through a pensive sigh, ”I just paint what I feel. And if it’s authentic, it works.” Uruga’s now epic painting of Chuck Wepner, the iconic inspiration for the film “Rocky”, hints at his own relentless positivity. As for the cheerful idealism Uruga’s got in store for the Three Kings Exhibition, he’s poised to lift your spirits: “I want people to see my culture. Most people are seeing the bad stuff out of Mexico in the news. I want them to see the good side of Mexico – the good stuff.” Turning away from the negative, Mack echoes his fellow Kings’ majestic and joyful good cheer:
“I try to bring my own flavor to this fine art world. We’ve seen enough of the slave master influences on our culture. I’m making sure people know we do have a rich positive culture too. And maybe some young artist will be inspired…” Look at Uruga’s past work and you’ll feel the quiet grace of powerful imagery befitting a king. Mack’s portfolio overflows with sketches that transcend cool and venture towards regal. Dickson’s imaginative work uncovers the nobility inherit in our day to day lives. From November 24th through January 27th, three exceptional gentlemen from far off lands will bring powerful regal nobility to Bayonne’s Three Kings Art Exhibition at the Bridge Art Gallery. “It’s definitely an honor because people who support my art – who enjoy my art – they won’t question me being in a show called Three Kings.” Dickson beams with excitement, “They’ll think this kid might actually be good – he might actually be great. It’s a great honor. And I appreciate it.”