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Michael Rider's solo exhibition “Even Muddy Rivers Flow”
An Exploration of Murkiness and the Unknown in Contemporary Art
At Solas Studio, Michael Rider (they/them) presents their solo exhibit, comprising several pieces that echo the mysterious depths. In the exhibition titled “Even Muddy Rivers Flow”, Rider's artistry is imbued with hues of blues and greens. The works transport me back to a cabin trip in Wisconsin, situated by a lake. Lakes are awe-inspiring, yet they can also evoke fear. The water's opacity, its dark murkiness, arouses curiosity – what could possibly be lurking beneath?
The palette is reminiscent of a largemouth bass, where the colors feel like manifestations of “The Unknown”. The art sparks memories of YouTube videos featuring divers hunting for underwater treasures or people magnet fishing and you have no clue what you’d pull up from the waters. The work contains these sudden pops of red. These bursts of color evoke thoughts of “Hidden Objects” beneath the water's surface.
Hints of color tease from each canvas - reds, oranges, purples, pinks, mustards. The works possess a sense of incompleteness, leaving behind an eerie ambiance. They imbue a sense of unease, as if the art is designed to discomfort its audience.
Our minds instinctively search for patterns within the watery scenes – we spot images of chickens, people, houses, and alphanumeric symbols. I admire the courage it takes to assemble such a body of work and present it to the world.
I appreciate the emotions stirred by Rider's work and the profound underlying significance. “Even Muddy Rivers Flow” signifies to me that even amidst uncertainty, fear, doubt, and the omnipresence of the unknown, life persists in its relentless flow.