In his latest one-man exhibit at West Gallery, simply titled Reflections, Gregory Raymond Halili focuses on the eye as his main subject, giving viewers glimpses of what he is seeing and thinking at the moment.
Throughout history, notes Halili, humans have believed that the eye is the window to the soul, and he lets us in on its power to grab attention and elicit reaction. Many cultures confer the eye with a godly and divine nature. In ancient Egypt, the Eye of Horus is the symbol of protection and life. In Christianity, the Eye of God symbolizes the omnipresence of God, who watches over all things. While in Hinduism, the Third Eye is referred as the spiritual and intuitive eye, able to perceive beyond ordinary sight. Halili uses these beliefs as bases to explore the nuances of the eye further: “I am interested in the idea of how the eye can transcend religion and become universal, as well as creating and evoking instant emotional impact.”
In his new paintings, Halili tackles the notions of birth, life, death, resurrection, and cycle by treating the eye as a symbol of spiritual, human, and cosmic existence.