School of Visual Arts presents “Gone,” an exhibition of work by members of the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay class of 2017. Curated by faculty member Viktor Koen and featuring illustrations by students enrolled in his Book Seminar course, “Gone” is on view Saturday, February 6, through Thursday, March 3, at the SVA Gramercy Gallery, 209 East 23rd Street, New York City.
Taking Jack Ketchum’s Bram Stoker Award-winning short story “Gone” as their inspiration, Koen’s students riff on, reinterpret and re-conceptualize themes such as loss, depression, motherhood and addiction to create new visualizations of the story. “Gone” tells the story of Helen, who, for the first time in the five years since her 3-year-old daughter Alice was kidnapped, feels comfortable opening her home to children for Halloween trick-or-treating. The children shun her and avoid her home, except for a group of three, and their exchange with Helen only leaves her more despondent and grief-stricken about her daughter.
Selected projects include Aura Lewis’s picture book retelling, which is also based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Ignacio Serrano’s fictional police report on the disappearance of Helen Teal in small town New Jersey; and Meghan Templehof’s series of chocolate bar wrappers exploring Helen’s emotional journey during and after her daughter’s kidnapping.
“This wealth of variations illustrates the ability for mystery writing to trigger strong images in direct but mostly associative levels and thematic departures, while staying connected to the story in form, direction or spirit,” Koen says.
Participating artists include Brian Britigan, Erica Chan, Audun Grimstad, Shreya Gupta, Mago Huang, Genevieve Irwin, David Leutert, Aurua Lewis, Helen Li, Amber Ma, Wenkai Mao, Eugenia Mello, ShinYeon Moon, Ryan Raphael, Nicole Rifkin, Francisco Rodriguez, Ignacio Serrano, Meghan Templeof and Jin Xiaojin.
MFA Illustration as Visual Essay at SVA is designed to maximize students’ opportunities as figurative artists, from the gallery wall to the full range of digital, print and online media. The program fuses the development of creative thinking with technical and communication skills. Additional focus is placed on best practices in navigating the visual-art marketplace while empowering students to choose art-making as a way of life.