Vito Schnabel

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Posted by on April 7, 2009

Jesus Loves Captain Sully Sullenberger

Jesus Loves Captain Sully Sullenberger

Written by Corduroy Magazine Blog on April 7, 2009 for Corduroy Magazine

An artist’s lifelong fascination with birds comes into view on the heels of one of the most miraculous stories of survival from the past decade. The result, is a majestic new gallery show in New York, with one of the best show titles we’ve seen in a long, long time.

Dutch artist Vahakn Arslanian is known for his prolific mixed-media works that revolve around images of birds, candles and airplanes. Deaf since birth, the now 34-year-old Arslanian creates an innocent, yet powerful canvas, centered around themes of demolition, personal spirituality and savage beauty. This exhibition will feature several of the artist’s recent large-scale drawings, along with a select group of paintings and drawings executed since 2001.

Though he’s had little formal training, Arslanian’s work is striking, mixing a surrealist sensibility with obsessive details like burnt paper, shards of glass, and discarded window frames that are used create a unique picture-frame for each work. The show’s title comes from Arslanian’s fascination with birds and airplanes, and his interest in spirituality and religion. Of course, it’s also a nod to the heroic efforts of US Airways pilot Sully Sullenberger, who deftly landed a troubled plane in the Hudson River earlier this year. The plane lost power after its engines struck a flock of birds — one of the main themes of Arslanian’s show. Coincidentally, the show is also taking place at the Maccarone Gallery, just a block from the Hudson.

The exhibition is on view at the Maccarone Gallery on Greenwich Street until May 2nd.

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