Ricky’s Dragon – Summer 2013

Ricky's Dragon

Ricky's Dragon

The Collins C. Diboll Art Gallery is featuring a special exhibit titled, “Ricky’s Dragon,” from June 17th through August 2nd. Artists Seth Gadsen and Sam Fleischner have this to say about their project:

Ricky’s Dragon represents the auspicious collaboration between Seth Gadsden and Sam Fleischner. In the spring of 2011, Seth began creating a series of drawings as Ricky a thirteen year old boy with autism and a main character in Sam’s narrative feature film, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, who is obsessed with mythological sea creatures and the swirling, tumultuous waters they inhabit. The film went into production in the fall of 2012 as the Chinese year of the dragon came to an end. It follows Ricky as he runs away from home and is called into the subway snaking through the tunnels beneath New York City. Consumed by the metal dragon, Ricky loses all sense of time and place while his family tries to cope with his absence.

In the year before filming, Seth and Sam had long conversations about darkness and destruction, powerful waves and supernatural creatures. The main symbol that Ricky draws throughout the film is the ouroboros dragon, eating its own tail. This ancient symbol represents the infinite cycle of destruction and creation. Three weeks into production, Hurricane Sandy, an unprecedented storm for the region, manifested that idea more profoundly than anything, destroying the northeast coastline and Rockaway Beach Queens, where Ricky and his family live.

The exhibition features over 200 drawings on paper by Seth Gadsden, many of which appear in the film while others continue to be an ongoing practice in his studio. They combine the colorful, playful, and obsessive characteristics found in his own work with the imagined personality of Ricky. Sam Fleischner has two videos in the exhibition, one shows the waters of Rockaway beach before the storm, and another show it during and after the storm. Visitors will be able to hear Ricky’s voice by listening to various headphones placed around the gallery. Stand Clear of the Closing Doors had its world premiere at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in April where it was awarded a special jury prize for best narrative feature.

You can read more about the exhibit here.

Get more information on the Diboll Gallery.

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