GE Galeria presents Factor of Existence, an exhibition by Canadian born artist James Verbicky. Verbicky lived most of his early life between Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. As an adult, Verbicky moved to the U.S., and after struggling with legitimacy for many years, he was awarded the rarely bestowed ‘Extraordinary Ability’ green card from U.S. government due to his extensive involvement with a myriad of museums, galleries, charity organizations, and publications across America.
As a visionary of language, Verbicky’s works are structural feeds of information that build on this elemental condition of existence layer by layer, creating portals into the constantly shifting fields of media that pass through the brain of each person both seen and unseen, perceived and insidiously concealed. For Verbicky, consciousness is elusive, and he plays with how individuals, including himself, are fundamentally altered by what others expose to the world, and how they interpret that material is constantly in flux. Drawing on imagery and linguistics that are decades and sometimes millennia old, Verbicky constructs iconic depictions that are simultaneously familiar and strangely alien.
"I create feeds of information. I play with the tension between how and why messages are comprehensible, and examine the spectrum of awareness and ignorance. Media exists to sell products and to influence thought and behavior, and has become such a disturbingly deep undercurrent in the modern world that it often operates covertly in people’s lives. I take that material, which is sometimes current but often decades and sometimes centuries’ old and still as relevant as ever, and dissect it to form new messages of my own making. I like the viewer to struggle with what is being said, to coerce them into wonderment. They inevitably go inward, and attach personal significance and meaning to what they see. But it is the exercise in questioning that is the most critical."
– James Verbicky