Imagination Personified

Works of rare authenticity and significance by a regional genius, Mr. Imagination, enliven the entire main floor Cohen Gallery of Reading’s GoggleWorks through March 1, 2007. Born Gregory Warmack, in 1948, Mr. Imagination grew up negotiating the dangerous streets and alleyways of Chicago. A violent near-death experience brought him a unique kind of aesthetic/spiritual enlightenment. He discovered that every moment and everything in the world is precious, unutterably beautiful, and brutally truthful. Since that unique once-in-a-lifetime epiphany, Mr. Imagination’s life has involved the continual transformation of the material into the metaphysical by artistic means. As he has produced his work in many places around the globe, it reflects the circumstances of its creation – because it is created directly from parts of the environment by virtue of the artist’s experience within it. The items created in the rough city are cool and hard edged – their emotional intensity bound up inside their totemic architectural exteriors. Since Mr. Imagination has moved to nearby Bethlehem, PA, his work has taken on freer, more naturalistic aspects that reflect his intensely personal experience within the natural world..The work on display at the GoggleWorks is at once severely personal and intensely universal. It is as if a savant communicates only by means of incorporating pieces of our world into magical assemblage and we understand his every “word.” How is it that this solipsistic world view evokes some wordless harmonic oscillation within those of us who are fortunate enough to come into contact with its concrete results?Unlike much, perhaps most, “official,” schooled, certified, academically trained, and canonically influenced work created by those self-consciously identified participants in the art world, Mr. Imagination’s output is authentic, true, and beautiful. It is uplifting, inspiring, and revelatory. For a rare occasion, an urban gallery space is transformed into a magical place. And who among us would not flock to experience a truly magical place if we knew one existed? Let it be known that from now until the first day of March, Reading’s GoggleWorks is such a magical transformative and revelatory place.*Mr. Imagination Images: Installation view; Headboard; Alligator Man Figure; Throne Room.

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