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solo exhibition

December 1st - 31st, 2023

Opening Reception: Friday, December 1st from 5pm - 9pm

Arch Enemy Arts presents ADAPTATION, six captivating paintings by Jake Messing, who uses dramatic realism and chiaroscuro to thoughtfully explore the interplay between humankind and the natural world. This is one of the most impressive bodies of work we’ve seen from Messing. It is ambitious in both technique and concept as he “focuses on the ubiquitous and damaging plastic bag as a central narrative…

“I am interested in the cross between man-made elements and nature,” Messing explains. “How all flora and fauna have to navigate the changing world that humans create with all of our junk and debris is both devastating and fascinating.”

With incredible precision of light, shadow, and texture, Messing renders graceful birds, delicate flowers, and ripe fruits enveloped in plastic or dunked in oil. Symbolic imagery reminiscent of Dutch Master vanitas, he too documents the vanity of earthly life in carefully composed and contemplative arrangements--with a contemporary twist. Juxtaposing nature’s persistence with mankind’s detritus, his work begs the question: can the natural world learn to coexist with the footprint of humanity, or is the added weight too heavy? Will the plastic bag inevitably break? 

Based in Healdsburg, California, Messing studied at Parsons School of Design in NYC, graduated with Honors and has accumulated a number of prestigious accolades. Messing’s work has been included in several group shows with Arch Enemy, and this is his second solo feature in as many years with the gallery.

written by Candice Musher

ADAPTATION will be on view from December 1st - 31st, 2023.
Sold works will begin to ship the week starting January 1st, unless other rush arrangements have been made.

Payment plan options are available on most works.

All items marked with a red dot have been sold. 

Gallery Of Images
click to view full screen and magnify

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