Unlike the many commercially minded NYC galleries, who adorn their white walls with art that is as confused in its concept as it is in its visual aesthetic. The Passion for Freedom exhibition that is now being held at the Seven House Gallery in Brooklyn is a stimulating breath of fresh air. Each artist hails from different places around the world and maintains a strong conceptual and personal bond to the importance of freedom. Ranging from sculpture to photography, painting to performance, Passion for Freedom is an enriching experience for the viewer, regardless of their entry point. Don’t misunderstand, this show may not be for the faint of heart. The haunting stories of escape exemplify the consequences of censorship and the vital need to protect freedom. 

Artists are range from all types of backgrounds and cultures, Iran, Venezuela, United Kingdom, Poland, Yemen, Belarus and the United States to name a few. The concept of freedom is pointed at from many directions. Gongsan Kim, an artist whose father fled North Korea, writes alongside her work, Perishing Petals, a solemn abstract assemblage of burnt burlap rolls, about prison camps in North Korea which trap thousands of people, in conditions arguably to be the worst on earth, as well as trafficking near to a hundred thousands woman into China, in order to maintain its oppressive dictatorship. 

Sculpture artist Tasleem Mulhall is featured prominently in the center of the gallery with her work The Woman. Reclaiming what it means to be a woman, Mulhall fervently demands that the definers of ‘what is a woman’ must be in the hands of the woman herself. Femininity takes a stand in here not allowing the man’s perspective to define her. Outspoken about her past experiences of escaping arranged marriage and paving her own way in the world, Mulhall stands to inspire young woman to find their voice and define themselves, for themselves. 

With all these unbelievable international artists, Polish-American Marcin Muchalski’s work Life Trails particularly hits home for the native New Yorker. Showcasing a collection of six photographs, Muchalski captures the bold beams of light shown into the sky annually on September 11th. The black and white collection stands as a great reminder of the history of our own city, the scars we must always remember, and the importance to preserve our freedom with passion. 

Open through the month of May, this jewel of a show will invigorate your every sense and challenge your concepts from all angles.   

Author: Hayley Antonelli