Brian O'Neill B. 1969
Click on a painting below to start the exhibition
The fourth collaboration between Rehs Contemporary and the Ani Art Academies takes its title from the fascinating sensory phenomenon known as Synesthesia. Synesthesia is the term used to characterize a "togetherness of sensation" (as the Greek derivation of the term indicates). More commonly, it is an anomalous blending of the senses in which the stimulation of one sense simultaneously produces a sensation in another. Synesthetes (individuals experiencing synesthesia) can be said to hear colors, feel sounds and taste shapes.
Current estimates regarding the number of individuals that experience some form of synesthesia ranges significantly, from rarer than one in 20,000 to as prevalent as one in 200. Of the various manifestations of synesthesia, the most common form-- grapheme-color synesthesia ---involves the perception of achromatic letters, digits, and words in unique colors.
Another form of this perplexing sensory phenomenon, and the inspiration for this exhibit, is chromesthesia (sound-to-color synesthesia.) These synesthetes experience perceptions of color when specific auditory sensations are triggered. Individuals that perceive color while listening to music experience the colors in addition to the normal auditory sensations that would be triggered in the average person.
The neural mechanisms by which synesthetic sensations occur remains somewhat of a mystery. One possibility is that synesthesia might arise from some kind of anomalous cross-wiring between brain areas that are normally segregated in nonsynesthetic individuals. For grapheme-color synesthesia, there may be cross-wiring between digit and letter processing areas and color processing areas in the visual cortex, which occupy neighboring regions of the human brain.
This year, the artists of the Ani Art Academies chose to explore this idea of the influence of one sensory modality on another. As such, each skillfully created work in this unique showcase was inspired by the experience of music. Come and see how a family of skilled visual artists aim to bridge the senses to offer an insight seldom experienced.
Our goal at Rehs Contemporary is to always celebrate the brilliant, the talented, and the dedicated artists of our time who demonstrate superior technical skills. In conjunction with the ever-growing Ani Art Academies, who have expanded their foothold from the flagship studio in Pennsylvania, to the Caribbean Islands to East Asia, we are able to present a remarkable and diverse body of work drawing inspiration from various countries, cultures and centuries. We hope you enjoy our exhibition, Synesthesia.