Artist Byron Keith Byrd challenges the stubbornly held belief system of Christianity in his second solo exhibition, Biblical Proportions, presented by Ellen Charapko Gallery, (Wilton Manors/Ft. Lauderdale, FL).
Byrd seeks the validity of its claims through works like Religious Trap, a 103 inch tall wooden cross which is seemingly plain from a distance. Upon closer inspection, it is revealed to be constructed of over 300 wooden mousetraps, a clear reference to “religious trappings.”
He goes on to examine our modern day arena of current events in Revelation 8:8 (mixed media on paper, 41 x 32 inches), where he cleverly juxtaposes the actual scripture “…a mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea, and the third part of the sea became blood” with the infamous green and yellow BP logo.
Bible Belt is a mixed media work utilizing a leather belt embossed with tiny Bibles and praying hands. Mounted on raw wood, it is embellished with gold leaf, featuring the abbreviations of some 15 states which comprise the ‘Bible Belt’ of the southern-most United States.
Byrd’s work provokes the viewer to untangle religious misperceptions: is there a benevolent, but misunderstood God? Has man erred in religionizing God? Why have the belief systems of various faiths been the impetus for prejudice, war, and political unrest?
Byrd leaves viewers to answer these questions by confronting their own spiritual efficacy.
The gallery is located at 2374 Wilton Drive, Ft. Lauderdale FL 33305 and will host a reception on Friday, March 18, 7-10 pm. The artist will be present and the exhibition will run through April 9, 2011.