Gregory Carideo

Black Ball Projects is pleased to present Wax by the Edge of the Sun. Varied works by seven NYC based artists viewed through the lens of the Icarus myth...minus the cautionary tale. In interpreting this myth, three distinct “actors” work in concert: Daedalus, Icarus, and new to the stage, the worker bee.

Meet the cast:

The worker bee secretes the wax: an enzyme instinctively produced for the sake of colony survival.

Daedalus the inventor, ingeniously uses wax to craft makeshift wings for him and his son Icarus to escape from exile.

Icarus falling victim to the exuberance of his initial freedom, fails to follow Daedalus’s caution to mind the sun, warms the wax and tumbles into the sea.

In this scenario, each actor has distinctly different motives but nonetheless contributes to unintended collapse. What remains is a poignant and salient beauty, embodied in the aesthetic of the enduring myth itself. Likewise, the works in Wax by the Edge of the Sun imbue a sense of impending collapse—seemingly suspended between fixed states—representing an idealized but fracturable beauty.

Additionally, this yields a portrait of the artist: an intuitive but methodical maker of things driven by occasional exuberance. That is, equal parts worker bee (natural instinct), Daedalus (rational thought), and Icarus (exuberant impulse).  

In the exhibition, wax as a substance, is either physically present, visually depicted, or metaphorically sustained. In all cases, wax (as an idea) becomes a stand-in for the artists’ material acting as an extension of the body while also serving as a functional material—akin to the secreted wax from the glands of the worker bee.