March 3-June 11, 2011
“Steve Sabella’s oeuvre unfolds like a book. Its chapters chronicle the artist’s journey towards visual and intellectual maturation and bravely investigate his shifting psychological states, narrating a deeply personal individuation process. Thus, in order to fully appreciate the triumph of Sabella’s recent work, it is vital to take into account the evolution of his practice, from his first photographic series Search (1997) and Identity (2002) to the work presented in this current solo exhibition Euphoria & Beyond at the Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai.
The Euphoria triptych is a joyous retinal explosion. Cut and assembled from hundreds of fragments of trees, like those shown In Transition, the resulting photomontages of organic fluidity emanate cathartic relief and a transcendence of the state of ‘mental exile.’ Long years of self-interrogation have given way to a more stable personality, one open to expansion and to the appreciation of beauty and the sublime.
It is also relevant that the production period of Sabella’s first post-Euphoria works coincided with the demonstration in Tunisia and Egypt. Beyond Euphoria relishes in a freedom never seen before in Sabella’s oeuvre, a freedom where possibilities are limitless and new fictional spaces beckon to be explored.”
Essay by Christa Paula