Sterling Allen – Use Your Illusion

Sep 3 – Oct 24, 2009   

“Seeing is when you forget the name of what you are looking at.” – Paul Valery
“The daydreamer must visualize the dream so vividly and insistently that it becomes, in effect, an actuality.” – James Thurber

Art Palace gallery is pleased to present Use Your Ilusion, a solo exhibition by Austin-based artist Sterling Allen. The works in the exhibition, which consist of video, photography, sculpture and drawing, are centered on the artist’s engagement with optical illusion, visual perception and trickery.

The way in which our eyes and brain communicate can be understood in terms of anatomy and physiology, but almost just as well through games and tricks one can do at home, or in this case, in the studio. Allowing your eyes to play tricks on you can cause a sense of disorientation and confusion, as well as euphoria and delight; much like a dream. This sensation is central to many of these new works. The ability to see and dream up alternative possibilities within a given object or image has been an underlying element with Allen’s work in the past, and the works in Use Your Ilusion are an attempt to collectively focus on and confront that experience. The way in which we see is a mystery that employs neuroscientists, artists, and magicians alike. Conducting research within, but not limited to, these varying fields has led to a number of strange connections and correlations, the results of which, are materialized in this new body of work.

About the Artist:
In the two years since his last exhibit at Art Palace, Writesy DrawsySterling Allen has exhibited his work at the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston, Artpace, VOLTA NY, Houston’s Optical Project, and Dallas’s Road Agent. He has completed residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska, as well as the Artpace International Artist-In-Residence Program in San Antonio, Texas. His works have been collected by The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Austin Museum of Art, as well as several important private collections throughout the United States. Sterling Allen received his BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003, and currently lives and works in Austin where he founded, and co-directs, Okay Mountain.