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Look Into the Mirror

Big Orbit Gallery, located on Essex Street on Buffalo’s West Side, has long been a haven for emerging artistic talent and mind-bending art. Tucked away in the confines of the Essex Arts Center, one never knows what they’ll experience when walking through the doors of the intimate and celebrated art space. This Saturday night from 8 to 11PM, video artist Geoffrey Alan Rhodes continues that tradition with “Double Narcissism.”
Last night I stopped by Big Orbit to see what Mr. Rhodes has in store for the exhibition that will run through June. Geoffrey – who actually goes by the name Alan – took time out from installing the show to talk about “Double Narcissism.” As we sat on the gallery’s stairs talking, the engaging Seattle native, who now resides in Buffalo was clear about why he lives here.
“Buffalo is a great city for the arts,” said Rhodes, “I feel very comfortable here.”
Rhodes spent 12 years living in Seattle when Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and dozens of other grunge bands seemingly ruled the world. In 2005 he earned a MFA in Media Studies from the University at Buffalo. Currently in the dissertation stage of a PhD program from Toronto’s York University, Rhodes returned to Buffalo last winter to teach film at UB.
“Buffalo’s independent arts scene reminds me a lot of how Seattle was during the grunge music years,” said Rhodes. “In Seattle there were an abundance of places to play music, including some clubs that had three bands an evening, five nights a week. Likewise, here in Buffalo, you have numerous places where an artist can show their work.”
Let’s get back to the art.
Rhode’s video installations are built on the premise that people’s bathrooms are spaces that are truly private. In that concealed space, people tend to have some form of relationship with the bathroom mirror. A narcissistic gaze into the mirror can produce issues of identity and layers that the subject must address, and eventually release from their mind.
“Through necessity you have to have to maintain an image of yourself. It’s just a part of being alive in the modern world,” said Rhodes. “I was trying to play off the idea of looking at what is inside and outside when you start putting yourself on camera.”
Rhodes will convey this experience through numerous video projections and mirrors–that involve the viewer–set up in a darkened gallery. Although the show is still being installed, it looks like it will uphold the Big Orbit Gallery experience in top fashion.
Will people want to see themselves in a different light? Stop in to Big Orbit Gallery and see for yourself. Visit: or
30d Essex Street
Buffalo, NY 14213

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