In March, before the true scale of a viral crisis became clear, Ritual hosted a series of artist works exploring plague, pandemic, and death to reflect the world around us. At the time, showcasing our favorite artists and their darkest works felt salient and timely, but not necessarily ominous. We served cheeky cocktails named for antibiotics and playfully coated guests in hand sanitizer. Now, in April, our doors have been shuttered and boarded, all business halted, and normalcy and security are a thing of the past.
The pace of these changes has been so fast that our artists couldn't even grab their work before we closed, perhaps permanently. Tonight should be a celebration of local art and culture in our favorite neighborhood, with our favorite people, but it feels more like a wake that no one can attend. The Ritual partners check in on the store everyday to assure the well being of our space, products and paintings, but it's darker than ever due to boarded windows and fear of utility bills, and the only things moving are motes of dust in a single shaft of light coming through our locked door.
Valerie Niemeyer www.valerieniemeyer.com
Carmen Cano www.carmenmaker.com
Vex Maron @vex_maron
Making a living as a creative is terribly difficult in the best of times, to say nothing of an unprecedented economic disaster. Please check out these artists and their pages to see how you can support them - they may seem creepy but we promise they are all extremely nice and criminally talented. So we're presenting some of their 'plague' art here in case you missed it this March - shot in that single light shaft and propped against the dark brick wall, like tomb decorations. Not to depress ourselves, but to celebrate the fact that this art survives and inspires even when survival and inspiration seem totally out of our grasp.
Jon Garaizar www.enchantingstranger.bigcartel.com