Art can overwhelm a person in many ways — the stunning experience of seeing a gorgeous artwork in person, or being stuck by the size of a piece you had only seen in books, or suddenly being brought to tears by a tender subject. But when overwhelming is the norm, it can create an entirely different experience of life, art, and beauty.
At A Noisy Mind, an entirely new show from the artist known as ADHD at the Colonna Contemporary, the overwhelming experience is very much by design.
“A Noisy Mind is a body of work about my experience as a neurodivergent/disabled person (specifically ADHD, autism, tinnitus, hearing loss) as well as my history as a touring musician,” said Colin Frangicetto, aka ADHD. “It is primarily a reflection of my artistic practice being multidisciplinary,” he said. “But that practice I believe, like everything else in my life, is affected by neurodivergence.”
According to Michele Colonna, owner of Colonna Contemporary and curator of A Noisy Mind, “ADHD has laid bare his soul for all of us to experience. I think it’s one of the most intellectually honest shows, completely authentic and totally unfiltered.”
The gallery often hosts artists and exhibitions on the cutting edge of the art world, showcasing a mixture of traditional and digital art in various styles. It is an intentional choice to bring exhibits to the area that celebrate artists of all backgrounds and styles, creating an “innovative space today where the future of art is currently being drawn up.”
The show presents a mixed-media immersive experience, with visual and audio components. Large, complex works such as Pink Noise and Blue Light feature stark profiles amidst splashes of color, bold shapes, and abstract designs. Smaller pieces such as Home and Office are “exercises in extreme minimalism & restraint,” said Frangicetto. “Office is three marks, whereas Home is only two. I feel like it’s taken me my entire life to be able to figure out how to do that.”
As the show came together, there was a mix of intentionality and lucky happenstance. “I would say that this show is extremely intentional and planned but I suppose some of the surprises are a bit ‘inside baseball,’” said Frangicetto. “I brought a ton of work to the gallery not sure if it would all fit, but I think in an almost eerie way it pretty much fit perfectly without room for much else. Other things would be difficult to explain, like a few placements of works that in hindsight had extreme significance but in the moment, there could have only been subconscious awareness of it.”
It created a unique curation experience. “This show from my perspective as the gallerist/curator was really about letting the artist’s vision shine through unfiltered given the highly personal nature of the body of work,” said Colonna. “To know this work is to know the artist, fully.”
Frangicetto was born in Abington but has spent most of their adult life traveling about, including years of touring as a musician. That experience is inherent to their work, the cacophony exploding in colors and shapes, as well as an immersive sound experience. For example, Constant Companion is simply an iPod mounted to a pure white painting on wood that plays the tone of the artist's tinnitus on an infinite loop in headphones for anyone to listen. “I wanted to mourn/pay homage to my history in music and draw the connection between perhaps the simultaneous damage & healing that life produced in me.”
“My main goal with this show was to overwhelm the space as well as the neurotypical viewer in an effort to produce a window into the experience of a neurodivergent/disabled person,” Frangicetto said. “I wanted those who have similar struggles to see themselves represented & held in the work.” As more attention, compassion, and empathy are extended to those who experience the world in a different way, shows like this are valuable pathways for understanding, as well as beautiful to behold.
A Noisy Mind is on view now at the Colonna Contemporary through Nov. 15. The Colonna Contemporary is located at 4 Louella Court in Wayne. More information can be found at ColonnaContemporary.com.
(Photos courtesy of Gene Smirnov)