On Piety * 617Seven Large Scale Multidisciplinary Installations, 1 November 2008 through 18 January 2009
Artists' Bios

Gerard Caliste was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1994, he became involved with Young Aspirations/Young Artists (YA/YA), through which Caliste produced art for a long list of private collectors, and for companies, organizations and celebrities, including MTV, Swatch Watch, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and Oprah Winfrey.  In 1994, Caliste was one of 700 artists commissioned by the United Nations to design seat covers for the General Assembly Room in honor of the United Nations’ 50th anniversary in 1995.  Caliste attended the Savannah College of Art and Design on a portfolio scholarship and Presidential scholarship. His series, Waterlines- more than two dozen paintings, poems and sculptures - was previewed at Le Mieux Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana. His Magicity series will be exhibited at the Lois Lambert Gallery in Santa Monica, California in April 209.

About Walking on Water

Walking on Water, the whole-room installation that Caliste contributes to On Piety, is an extension of Waterlines, for it is based on imagery drawn from the Katrina floods. Walking on Water is an ambitious, multi-media and three-dimensional installation, employing painting, found objects, and sculpture. It is installed on the exterior walls of a room within the warehouse space, and covers the walls and floors of the room’s interior. The exterior of the room references the exterior of a house. Awnings, an architectural detail typical of houses in the Upper 9th Ward, hang above the door and windows. The centerpiece of the room’s interior is a scaled-down, three-dimensional version of a rooftop, approximately three feet high and four feet wide, which appears to be the only visible portion of a miniature house submerged in floodwaters. The floor and walls are painted on directly, like an encasing mural. The floor is covered in oil-painted rooftops, which simulate houses under water. The walls’ paintings include figures with three-dimensional faces made out of clay, and three-dimensional shotgun houses held in the painted figures’ hands.

Caliste viscerally replicates an essence of his Katrina experience by depicting various phrases of the aftermath of the storm - which, as a young man raised in the Upper 9th Ward, is still a daily reality.


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