Getting There:  Terror and Desire in Uneasy Times

New work by Leah Grimaldi and Charlene Liska

What do we want?  We often seem to hover in the uncomfortable regions of knowing both too much and too little.  A fifteenth century inscription in Paris’s Cimetiere Des Innocents refers to us as “Oh rational creature/who wishes for eternal life.”  The Jesuits say we’re a “being without a reasonable reason for being.”  Hank Williams says, “I’ll never get out of this world alive.”  Little wonder then, that we’re, most of the time, more comfortable with the sweetly false sentiments of Disney’s ‘When You Wish Upon a Star”:”Fate is kind./She brings to those who love/the sweet fulfillment of/their secret longings.”

In painting and video, Charlene Liska entertains the extremes of aspiration and fear, the competing bids for our attention between pop culture’s appropriations of these and blunt reality, and the places where the differences are not so easily discernible, or possibly even meaningful.

Leah Grimaldi explores the boundary where horror and seduction meet. This is a place of terror and the sublime. Using paper cut-outs with cartoonish lines and candy colors, Grimaldi constructs imaginary organic forms.  Tiny two-dimensional flesh pieces conjoin to form weighty figures, which are both disgusted by and delight in themselves and their fluid ephemerality.

extreme seductiveness is probably at the boundary of horror.
-Georges Bataille

Exhibition Dates: March 9-31, 2012
Opening: Saturday, March 10, 6-9pm
Fourth Thursday: March 22, 6-9pm


Vanessa R Thompson – Grundo

Leah Grimaldi

Mark Natale -Bitch Dancers

Justin Augsperg – Raised by Wolves

Vanessa R Thompson

Vanessa R Thompson
Jack Hammers, Die, Die, Die and Antler Girls – Background
Chris and Sonia Enjoy Lick It Up Bitch

Nick DiStefano – Head in the Clouds

Live LIUB Dancers

East Boston, December 20, 2010 –
Atlantic Works Gallery is proud to present Lick it Up Bitch, an exhibit by its new members inspired by wall art photographed in a hotel room in San Francisco. Deliciously tasteless, the five new members use this exhibit to explore issues of gender, consumerism, public domain and propriety. The work ranges from photography to painting and sculpture, and is highly experimental.

The public is invited to the ARTISTS’ RECEPTION on Saturday, February 5 from 6-9PM, and to visit the gallery on Fridays and Saturdays 2 – 6pm from February 5 to February 26, 2011. The public is also invited to attend Atlantic Works’s monthly THIRD THURSDAY RECEPTION on February 17 from 6-9PM. To schedule a private press viewing and interview at a more convenient time, please contact Leah Grimaldi at 508-397-1482 or

About the Artists

Justin Augspurg received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2006 he was an MFA candidate at the University of New Hampshire, where he was an adjunct professor in 2005. “In the studio,” Augspurg says, “I strive to be open to any idea or impulse, incorporating quotation and appropriation from a variety of sources, both historical and popular. I want my pictures to grow out of an obligation to freedom and acceptance.”

Mark Natale is a self-taught photographer inspired by the works of Yousuf Karsh, Roy Volkmann and Diane Arbus, and by the vision of Ray Johnson. He became interested in flyposting and its legal implications after seeing the Shephard Fairey show at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

Leah Grimaldi received her BFA from Pratt and is currently an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Art. Her images and soft sculptures conjure up impure, mixed-up feelings from the way that borders divide the clean form the unclean, the disgusting from the pleasing, the appropriate and inappropriate. In her work and in life, these borders constantly shift, so the dichotomies they enforce are constantly in threat of violation.

Nick DiStefano has a background in Art History. He has worked with the Mayor’s Mural Crew in Boston and is currently working towards a Master’s in Graphic Design at the New England School of Art and Design.

Vanessa R Thompson received her MFA at Art Institute of Boston. She has exhibited her work through out New England; most recently at first Fridays at 450 Harrison Ave, Studio 213 in Boston. Her photography and instillations recall the brightly-colored Technicolor heroes and fuzzy saviors who, sometimes with nothing more than a catchphrase, helped us through our day.

Begun in 2003, ATLANTIC WORKS GALLERY, “East Boston’s Collaborative Space for Art and Ideas,” is a member-operated gallery located on the top floor of 80 Border Street on the waterfront of East Boston. It is T-accessible (near the Maverick T stop on the Blue Line). For detailed directions and other information about members and past and future shows, please see