The Copenhagen Interpretation 3/3/15 to 4/4/15

the Lodge Cophen (5)

The Copenhagen Interpretation

3/3 – 4/4

Opening reception Wednesday March 4th, 2015 from 7-9pm.
The Lodge Gallery and Gallery Poulsen proudly present “The Copenhagen Interpretation,” an exhibition of 18 works in different media: drawing, painting, collage and photography.
Participating artists: Aaron Johnson (US), Alfred Steiner (US), Barnaby Whitfield (US), Christian Rex van Minnen (US), Daniel Davidson (US), Debra Hampton (US), Eric White (US), Isaac Arvold(US), Jacob Dahlstrup (DK), Jade Townsend (US), Jean-Pierre Roy (US), John Jacobsmeyer (US),Mi Ju (KOR/US), Mu Pan (TW/US), Nicola Verlato (IT), Rainer Hosch (AUT/US), Tom Sanford(US) and William Powhida (US).
Denmark-based Gallery Poulsen is located amidst butchers, fishmongers and the vibrant nightlife of Copenhagen’s Meatpacking District. With a passion for traditional art on canvas and paper, Gallery Poulsen presents a strong team of contemporary artists, mostly Americans, who work in a significant artistic style, where the clean, the satirical and not least the reflective are the thematic common denominators.
A group exhibition of artists who occupy the stable of Morten Poulsen Gallery in Copenhagen and are regular exhibitors at The Lodge Gallery in NYC. To coincide with Pulse art fair during Armory Art Weekend, March 2015
the Lodge Cophen (8)the Lodge Cophen (9)




Alfred Steiner_Camera_2015_watercolor on arches 300 lb. hot press paper_30 x 22 3-4 in_76 x 58 cm_800


copenhagen (17)





Evie Falci, Voids and Invocations Jan. 28 – Feb. 28


It always begins the same way. The primordial void, the vast chaotic emptiness of pre-creation before time began. And then out of nothing the void is punctured and orders are formed around the developing architecture of creation.

This is the kind of language that ancient poets and contemporary psychologists like Manly. P. Hall or Carl Jung use to correlate alchemical symbolism with the development of the psycho-spiritual life of the individual. Here our unknown selves are the void and our consciousness is born from the void ex nihilo, ready to be formed by naturally occurring archetypal orders that are universal but result in multitudinous expressions of subjectivity.

It is also an accurate account of the ritualized studio practice of Brooklyn based artist Evie Falci. Using the language of esoteric symbolism and sacred geometry, Falci’s alchemical gold is definitively spiritual and her transmutation of metals occur in complicated geometric compositions of punk rock studs and pleather. She does not plan her paintings to a definitive degree before she begins. Instead, she taps into a type of shamanistic creative invention with a loose guide of esoteric rules and a personal symbolic order of geometries to guide each unique construction.

Here, in her first solo exhibition at The Lodge Gallery, Falci continues to explore the development of insight and intuition through the arrangement of symbolic imagery. Her most recent paintings of studs on pleather act as invocations meant to conjure allusions to the spirit world and, like totems, become activated access points to other unworldly dimensions. Cross referencing multiple cultural influences, including Islamic mosaics, ritual body scarification and tattooing, South American textiles, alchemical and esoteric symbols that span from India and the ancient Levant to fraternal enlightenment period hieroglyphics, she has built a composite visual language that is as deeply personal as it is accessible to a popular cultural audience. Harnessing the familiar appeal of popular materials such as denim and pleather, rhinestones and steel studs, her completed compositions are lush and tactile, mysterious and imbibed with magical incantations and divine presence that transform the superficial into the transcendental, and ultimately elevate the baser materials so that they appear to surpasses the sum of their parts.

Evie Falci (born 1985, Brooklyn, NY) is a 2007 graduate of the Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland. She participated in the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program in 2011 – 2012. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions at various venues, including, Hudson, Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, Feature Inc.,New York and Gallery Diet, Miami, and is part of Art in Embassies, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Her most recent solo exhibition Everything All Night was at Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York in 2013. Falci continues to live and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Artist Evi Falci with her work









ALTERITY, Jan. 9 – Jan. 24, 2015

The Lodge Gallery is proud to usher in the new year with Alterity, a group exhibition featuring works by Reuben Negron, Emily Burns, Curt Hoppe, Rebecca Goyette, Frank Webster and Ulrike Theusner.

As individuals we choose to keep our personal obsessions with physical pleasure close to the vest, under the table and sometimes in the closet. As a society we are a lot bolder. We build our public fantasies on magazines, advertising campaigns and big budget films but inside we all long for a deeper connection to our true selves. Anyone who has dressed up for a masquerade or is accustomed to a uniform  knows the transforming effect that donning a costume can have. Useful as a largely positive mechanism for coping with social anxiety, we all dress up in our own self constructed costumes that mask our true selves in order to navigate the daily complications of our public lives. For some, the only way to explore more personal subjects such as desire, power, control and role reversal is to embrace an ulterior identity associated with a literal mask or costume to be donned as a shield of safety from judgement and public scrutiny. Sometimes these masks are literal and other times they are as subtle as an attitude or context. Each of us, in our own subjective way, learns to stitch together the necessary disguises we require in order to reconcile our pursuits of the baser instincts of human nature and to act out on our natural desires or secret fantasies.

“People seldom change. Only their masks do. It is only our perception of them and the perception they have of themselves that actually change.”

― Shannon L. Alder





Art & Ephemera from 98 Bowery- 1969 to 1989, Dec. 19 – Jan. 2, 2014

Friday, December 29th, The Lodge Gallery is proud to present Art & Ephemera from 98Bowery, 1969 to 1989, co-curated by Marc H. Miller.
Every era creates its own type of art object. The inexpensive multiples, political statements, and ephemera in this exhibition are representative of the deliberately transient quality and populist impulses of art in the 1970s and 80s.

Artists in this show include Charlie AhearnJohn AhearnMarc BraszColetteThom CornJane DicksonStefan EinsSandra Fabara (Lady Pink), John FeknerPeter FendColeen Fitzgibbon,Bobby G (Robert Goldman), Mike GlierGroup MaterialKeith HaringCurt HoppeBecky HowlandBaird JonesM. Henry JonesLisa KahaneChristof KohlhoferMarisela La GraveDick MillerMarc H. MillerRichard MockJohn MortonTom OtternessPhase 2Bettie RingmaWalter RobinsonChristy RuppDavid SchmidlappArleen SchlossKiki SmithSusan Springfield,Anita SteckelJehnifer SteinAnton Van DalenArturo VegaTom WarrenRobin WintersDavid WojnarowiczY Pants, and more.


NADA Art Fair, Miami Beach – Dec. 4 – 7, 2014



The Lodge Gallery is excited to be exhibiting new work by NYC artist Kent Henricksen at the 2014 NADA Art Fair on Miami beach at booth #2.17.

NADA runs concurrently with Art Basel Miami this December 4th through the 7th. Please click this link for directions, hours and tickets.

As a continuation of his September solo exhibition at The Lodge Gallery , Kent has created a new body of embroideries, gold guilded frames and stoneware sculpture all juxtaposed against the immersive celestial backdrop of a midnight blue sky, lovingly and meticulously hand stenciled with gold paint.

Race and gender, power and conflict, these are just some of the transcultural archetypes Henricksen explores by manipulating images that are sourced from biblical illustrations, newspapers, old master prints, and esoteric Hindu symbolism of the Trimurti. The thread and ink of his canvases are imbued with a complex ambiguity that pushes the images beyond any definitive cultural context. Contrasting illustrations of historical events with familiar contemporary images, Henricksen’s work invites you to step into a shamanistic world of non-linear narrative and mythic time. Each canvas is a silkscreened fable in gold ink and meticulously hand embroidered thread.

Henricksen explains, “Combining Eastern ideas with Western images – the large canvases are symbolic labyrinths of the cosmos. The Western images loosely represent the Hindu Trimurti, with a creator, destroyer and maintainer. They are representations of a troubled world with disturbing human behavior – destroying the unknown, creating the familiar and maintaining the balance of disturbance”

Kent Henricksen is an American artist based in New York whose work explores race, violence and identity through sculpture, painting, drawing, and installation. Henricksen came to prominence in 2005 for his work in the MoMA PS1 Greater New York Show. His work is in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., The Fogg Museum at Harvard, and the Collezione Maramotti. Henricksen has shown internationally including Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, John Connelly Presents, New York, hiromiyoshii, Tokyo, Arario, Seoul, and Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin. Solo museum shows include Bass Museum Miami and the Contemporary Gallery of the Nassau County Museum of Art, New York.







Les Fleurs Du Mal- Ulrike Theusner & Paul Brainard, Nov.6 – Dec.14, 2014

Like Charles Baudelaire in his controversial 1857 volume of poetry Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil), Ulrike Theusner and Paul Brainard explore the dark meanders of the human mind, the immoral side of urban life and the gross lack of empathy that continues to mar western culture. The depictions of sexual perversion, corruption, and mental and physical illness, so prevalent in Baudelaire’s poems, find their contemporary reflection in the drawings by Theusner and Brainard, who wade through the popular cultural imagery of what on the one hand is our subjective personal experience and on the other – the universal human condition. The exhibition features 25 drawings, three of which are collaborative works, built on ideas explored through Theusner and Brainard’s conversations about the condition of today’s urban culture.

The ink drawings of Ulrike Theusner are based on William Hogarth’s famous etchings “A Rake’s Progress” and the photographs of Jerome Zerbe’s Book “Happy Times.” The drawings describe the decline of a rich heir over the course of eight chapters. The protagonist is a lethargic puppet, the heir to a rich merchant, who over the course of the story wastes all his money on gambling and prostitution, eventually resulting in his being sent to prison and later to a home for the mentally ill. It is not a moral commentary as originally intended by Hogarth, but a metaphorical description of today’s society. This lifestyle offers no satisfaction for the protagonist and he finally ends up in a psychiatric hospital, surrounded by histrionic monkey figurines in baroque costumes: humans behave like monkeys and monkeys behave like humans.

Paul Brainard’s works in Les Fleurs du Mal are made up of portraits of friends, family and people from his life, imagery from advertising, the internet, and American puritanical religious imagery. A common thread throughout the work is a dark and macabre sensibility that stems from existentialist and absurdist philosophy. Formally, the drawings are in a constant state of flux and the final image arrived at is one of many possible solutions.

The largest work in the show I sleep under a sky of extinguished stars, was inspired by Robert Kolker’s book “Lost Girls,” the story of the lives of the prostitutes who were all murdered by the “Long Island Serial Killer” and whose bodies were discovered in December 2010. This artwork is a posthumous portrait of Jessica Taylor, a prostitute who was murdered and whose remains were discovered in the spring of 2011. The case remains unsolved.










Madness, Oct. 10 – Nov. 2, 2014


Artists include: Allison Sommers, Ben Coover, Chris Crites, Chris Hipkiss, Dawn Black, Hanna von Goeler, Hiroshi Kumagai, John O’Reilly, Judith Supine, Judy Rifka / Daniel Dibble, Kymia Nawabi, Lori Field, Matt Rota, Sharmistha Kar, Sibylle Peretti, Sokol Andrew, Stephen J M Palmer, Winston Chmielinski, Zoë Field

The Lodge Gallery is pleased to present Madness, a group exhibition curated by visual artist Lori Field. Comprised of almost two dozen works, the show brings together an exceptional collection of artists who question the nature of madness and its place in contemporary culture.

While the title Madness is subject to a wide spectrum of subjective interpretations, the exhibition broadly plays on themes of melancholia and definitions of sanity, embracing socially controversial behavior and individual journeys through darkness and confusion. Is madness a chemical imbalance or is it a series of culturally adopted behaviors? What exactly is it that drives individuals and communities to the breaking point of madness? Who is responsible when a lapse in sanity occurs and is a little madness always a bad thing? If it is to be believed that the fine lines between genius and madness are drawn within cultural context then one man’s mad fundamentalist heretic is another mans holy martyr, one woman’s delirium tremens is a another woman’s shamanistic vision. As it turns out, it’s not as easy as it seems to define madness even within the broad interpretations of our shared colloquial vernacular.

From Dawn Black’s portraits of beauty queens, gun nuts, and terrorists, to Hanna von Goeler’s stripped down and ghost-like dollar bill paintings, Chris Hipkiss’s dystopian landscape drawing, and Judy Rifka’s flickering staccato insects, the visual images on view in Madness pick up where definable language fails us.











Kent Henricksen – Disharmony in Blue and Gold, Sept. 5 though Oct. 5, 2014



Kent Henricksen

September 5th, 2014 – October 5th, 2014
Opening Reception, Friday, September 5th, 7pm-9pm

Curated by Jason Patrick Voegele and Keith Schweitzer

The sky is falling- or so it would appear in Kent Henricksen’s upcoming exhibition, Disharmony in Blue and Gold, at The Lodge Gallery.

Known for creating fraught environments that are both inviting and menacing, Henricksen’s work is the combination of opposing forces- the past and present, horror and absurdity, the comic and the tragic, high and low culture. The exhibition presents an immersive installation within midnight blue gallery walls glimmering with thousands of hand stenciled gold dots reminiscent of a mythic celestial heaven. Dark blue canvases hang directly on the stenciled walls where images of discord prevail. Throughout the gallery stoneware face jugs are ominously impaled upon golden stakes that seemingly thrust upwards from the floor.

Race and gender, power and conflict, these are just some of the transcultural archetypes Henricksen explores by manipulating images that are sourced from biblical illustrations, newspapers, old master prints and esoteric Hindu symbolism of the Trimurti (the creator, the preserver and the destroyer).  The thread and ink of his canvases are imbued with a complex ambiguity that pushes the images beyond any definitive cultural context. Juxtaposing illustrations of historical events with familiar contemporary images, Henricksen’s work invites you to step into a shamanistic world of non-linear narrative and mythic time. Each canvas is a silkscreened fable in gold ink and meticulously hand embroidered thread.

Henricksen explains, “Combining eastern ideas with western images- the large canvases are symbolic labyrinths of the cosmos.  The western images loosely represent the Hindu Trimurti- with a creator, a destroyer and a maintainer.  They are representations of a troubled world with disturbing human behavior- destroying the unknown, protecting or creating the familiar, and maintaining the balance of disturbance”

Also, included in the show is a new body of work based on sacred geometric patterns. Here Henricksen evokes the Sri Yantra in gold thread. Formed by nine interlocking triangles that surround and radiate out from the central (bindu) point and balanced against the familiar blue and gold celestial backdrop, we are presented with the symbolic womb of creation. It is the symbol of the universe as a whole and the reconciliation of the divine masculine and feminine principles, a process and philosophy not at all unfamiliar to western culture through illustrations of the chemical wedding in European spiritual alchemy.









Jason Patrick Voegele Interview with Artefuse.Com

Jason Patrick Voegele

Co-Founder / Director of The Lodge Gallery and Founder / Co-Director Republic Worldwide


(L-R) Jason Patrick Voegele & Keith Schweitzer

Visit the Artefuse link here – The Interview

By Jamie Martinez

Can you tell us about your background and how you ended up at The Lodge Gallery?

I’m an American citizen but I grew up in South East Asia. Hong Kong and then Taiwan and Singapore respectively. In 1991 I graduated from Taipei American School and came to New York to become the next big thing like everyone else. I went to college at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. I studied painting and then returned to Pratt shortly thereafter to get my masters degree in studio art and art history. In between those years I lost myself studying comparative religions and mythology. That is still my primary passion.

After grad school I went to work in SoHo and Chelsea for some of the coolest galleries I knew that would employ me. I worked up front in sales and behind the scenes as a registrar and preparator for about ten years. Eventually I left all that and started my first gallery in Brooklyn, and then started Republic Worldwide in 2009. Republic did a lot of things and was staffed by the coolest smartest kids I could find. We had a curatorial division, a service/art handling division and a community/charity division that donated time and creative resources to various charities around NYC. We did some amazing work and some amazing shows and then the original team disbanded in early 2011 right around the time I met Keith Schweitzer. Keith had been up to a similar game out in the city when we met. He had founded two of his own curatorial projects and was out there hustling with the best of them. He was the first person I had worked with in New York that could see the future that I saw in a like-minded way. A mutual friend put us in touch and after our first project working together we pretty much became inseparable. We fused all of our work and our vision together under the banner of Republic and around January of 2013, after a long hard stretch of exhibitions in NYC and Miami we seized the opportunity to take over a space on the Lower East Side. It became our permanent venue shortly thereafter. The space became The Lodge of the Republic or The Lodge Gallery. Today The Lodge is the heart of everything we do.


You have a passion for working and giving back to the community. Why is working with the community so important to you?

I have always believed that we enrich our own lives by helping to enrich the lives of others. That’s been part of our mission at Republic and The Lodge from the start.

When I was a kid my mother’s father was the Secretary of Labor for the state of Idaho, my father’s father was a decorated Major in the Army Corps of Engineers and my father, who also grew up as an expatriate American in Europe and The Middle East, worked his whole life to better the reputation of Americans abroad. They all believed that if you want a better America you have to step up and become a better American. I suppose in my own small art world way I’ve been trying to do that.

Especially here in New York the art world can become so insular. I like working with artists and finding projects that engage new audiences to help develop relationships between communities that would not otherwise have interacted. There are a lot of ways to do that and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a great many talented and selfless people who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place. It’s a hugely rewarding and educational experience every time I have the chance to engage with a new cause or visionary community organization.

That’s really great Jason. The world needs more people like you. Can you talk about the current show at The Lodge Gallery NO CITY IS AN ISLAND?

Sure, in February we were approached by Christy Rupp who is an original member of the art collective Colab. We had exhibited Christie’s work in the past so she was familiar with the gallery and Keith and I were aware of Colab and their influence on the Lower East Side so everyone was excited to put this project together.  The Colab Collective is probably best known for their revolutionary 1980 exhibition “The Real Estate Show” which was organized in response to the grim economic conditions facing tenants of what was then, although culturally thriving, a nearly bankrupt, violent and desperate New York City. The show was confrontational, installed in a space that was occupied illegally and really galvanized the artist community, the press and city officials who shut the show down.

We reached out to as many of the original artists from that exhibition as we could and offered them the opportunity to submit work in response to the project title “NO CITY IS AN ISLAND”. The response turned out to be phenomenal and perhaps with the exception of only two or three artists, most of the work in the show ended up ranging from the late 80′s to the early 90′s.

“NO CITY IS AN ISLAND” revisits the zeitgeist of a New York City that is all but a memory now. It compares and contrasts the artists and urban realities of a New York that was struggling through a period of intense transformation. One of the most interesting aspects of this project has been getting to know these artists and to watch them reunite with the same love of New York and passion for their work and at a time when the subject of intense urban transformation could not be more relevant.

Another cool thing about the show is that it came together just in time for Lower East Side history month and is part of a multi-venue celebration of Colab and revisitation of “The Real Estate Show” with James Fuentes Gallery, Chuchifritos Gallery and ABC No Rio.


I went to James Fuentes Gallery for the opening and it was great; a lot of the artists where there. Speaking of real estate, how do you feel about having so many galleries opening up in the Lower East Side?

Yeah, the Fuentes show was awesome. It’s been great to see such an outpouring of support for Lower East Side history and for so many of the artists that early on helped to make this neighborhood legendary.

There has definitely been a huge boom in the number of galleries popping up down here and it has been great for the community. It’s been a long time coming though. I recall in the early 90’s there was a big push to legitimize the art scene down here and I think it fell apart primarily because the gallery visions and business concepts were based on an antiquated models that inhibited creativity and were inevitably unsustainable. The reason I believe it is working now is that the new galleries of the L.E.S., each in their own way, have embraced alternative business models and have begun to wonder if the traditional idea of a gallery can’t be broadened or reimagined to suit a new cultural reality. I also think that artists are getting smarter, more business savvy and more capable of self-marketing. Many of the brightest are interested in engaging with dealers and curators in more creative ways that require flexibility on the part of gallerists that you are just not going to find up on 57th street or within the Chelsea scene. Call it a generational shift. It feels like there is a generational shift going on down here.

What alternative business model does The Lodge Gallery use?

Well Keith and I wear a lot of hats. We do everything from corporate/private art consultation and installation to directing public art programs, marketing and art fair development. That’s all in addition to the gallery and the exhibitions we curate there together. The more we are able to strengthen our network while generating alternative sources of revenue, the freer we are to be experimental with our schedule, our artists and our exhibitions. The idea of trying to meet the bottom line exclusively through art sales alone has been the standard model for decades if not the last hundred years. It’s a slippery slope though because once those rent and electric bills start to roll in it becomes very easy to be tempted into only showing the most sellable work, the most palatable and marketable work. That means artists who are testing limits or pushing experimental boundaries have to take a back seat to the bottom line. We feel like part of our job is to cultivate and facilitate opportunities for artists first. In that spirit we don’t require our artists to sign exclusivity contracts. We don’t represent artists at The Lodge; we represent bodies of work that we consign directly from artists for pre-arranged periods of time.

We also have a uniquely unusual schedule to accommodate a broader audience. Tuesdays through Sunday we have fairy normal daytime gallery hours and then at 8pm we bring in our night staff and stay open until midnight. Our official closing time is 10pm but we are almost always here until midnight. Most people think those hours sound crazy until they find out about the secret behind the west wall of the gallery. Evenings are never boring at The Lodge.

I love your business model, especially the part that you don’t represent artists but bodies of work. What show are you curating next?

Well, by the time this will probably go to print we will be exhibiting the post-industrial urban landscape paintings of Frank Webster in a show titled: Margins. The opening for that is next Friday, May 16th so I hope you come. Very excited for that. It’s funny how sometimes you find out a lot about yourself by looking back at the work you’ve done in the big picture. Sometimes you discover patterns of interest. Frank’s exhibition further explores our interest in urban architecture and if you look back at the last year and a half at the Lodge Gallery it’s pretty obvious that Keith and I are smitten with that subject. But we are interested in a lot of things and the show following that will be a large group exhibition exploring the natural evolution of birds and plants.


I have to attend an earlier opening in Chelsea that night but after that I am open. What advice can you give artists on how to they should approach a gallery?

Well the first piece of advice I would give any artist is to narrow down the playing field. By that I mean go out there and visit the galleries first. See them all and discover the ones that matter the most to you.  Seek out the galleries or alternative venues that exhibit other artists who share a similar vision to yours. Those are probably the handful of galleries you should be focusing on.

Building a career in the arts is all about building relationships and seizing opportunities. One side of this requires patience and a genuine commitment to your own goals and the shared long term goals of your friends or peers. The other side requires a commitment to your craft and the flexibility to grow and adapt to the challenges of an unpredictable art market.

Also, first impressions are everything so in this tech savvy world you better have great and up to date website. It’s going to be the primary way you promote yourself and the likely way curators and exhibitors are going to first encounter your work. Nine times out of ten when we are considering an unfamiliar artist for exhibition at the gallery they have come recommended from artists or gallerists we have worked with in the past or through due diligence were discovered in the archives of web based artist registries such as, White Columns or Perogi among others. The first thing we do in either case is to look at the website.

Most of the Don’ts when approaching a gallery are just common sense. If anything when you have the chance to pitch your work, don’t try to be something you are not. Be realistic but be confident in yourself and be genuine. Nothing means more to someone when you’re trying to build a relationship than that. After that, it’s just a matter of your talent, your style and how hard you are willing to work before you find someone who believes in what you are doing.

Thanks for the great advice. What do you see on the horizon for Jason and The Lodge Gallery?

Well you know everything is always in a state of transformation. I’m excited to see what will become of The Lodge Gallery as we continue to pursue or original mission. As long as Keith and I are free to continue to develop programing that is relevant and engaging and in our own unique voice, and we can keep the gallery a gathering point for the observant and curious to experiment and  debate ideas, you can be certain that it will never be boring. What’s on my horizon? Well if anything my life has never been short of the unexpected or unusual so I can only predict more of my entertaining adventures to follow. Maybe one day soon I’ll get back to Hong Kong for a visit or write a book or something but for now I’m 100% focused on the Lodge and all of the exciting projects we have lined up for the Summer and Fall.  I encourage everyone to come on down to the L.E.S. for a visit to the gallery, I’ll most likely be here ready for a chat about whatever inspires you.


MATING SEASON June 5 – July 5, 2014



This Summer The Lodge Gallery celebrates the season of fertility with “Mating Season,” an exhibition of work inspired both by natural history and everyday life. 

Artists include: Lina PuertaJuan FontaniveGeorge BoorujyMaxi CohenLeif SolemMonique MantellBrian Adam DouglasAnita Cruz-EberhardSirikul PattachoteSarah BerezaLiza BéarRyan McLennanHerb Smith, Frank Webster and Tiffany Bozic.

Curated by   Jason Patrick Voegele & Keith Schweitzer

According to our best collective fossil evidence, something astonishing happened during the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous period that transformed life as we know it. About one hundred and fifty to one hundred and thirty million years ago the first flower bloomed and the first birds took flight. The process by which the multitudes of various bird species and flowering plants would come to populate every inhabitable region of the earth is epically slow. We know that almost immediately after the first flower blossomed, the birds of that time, along with other small animals and insects, became enamored with the sweet smells and free lunch. They quickly became the beneficiaries of a symbiotic relationship that continues to this day. This relationship can be roughly defined as a food for sex program, wherein the flowering plant offers the bird a tasty reward in exchange for carrying out the process of transporting reproductive pollen to fertilize plants of the same fruit on the other side of the garden. As in modern times, competition for services drove adaptation and diversification of the species. By the time humans arrived on the scene, flowering plants had flourished to become the dominant vegetation of most terrestrial ecosystems and subspecies of geographically specialized birds had unfolded into countless assortments.

As we make our way through the early stages of the twenty-first century more than half of the world’s human population has come to inhabit a landscape of ever expanding urban sprawl.  As mankind increasingly alters the global landscape, new adaptive shifts have begun to take place, once again forcing the transformation and evolution of indigenous species. Successful city birds often exhibit the most spectacular displays of natural selection with a unique behavioral plasticity. With all the typical urban feasts and hazards to contend with, city birds have developed a fearless equilibrium with their human counterparts. For example, feral pigeons, originally bred from the wild rock dove, find the ledges of buildings to be a suitable substitute for sea cliffs and are abundant in towns and cities throughout much of the modern world.