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Keith Mayerson 

Hamlet 1999

November 19 - December 23, 2003

Opening Reception: Friday, November 19, 6 - 8 pm



Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present Keith Mayerson’s Hamlet 1999.


Hamlet 1999 is the culmination of over four years of painting and drawing. The project is to be “read” allegorically like a comic, stained glass window, church fresco, or giant mural. From abstract imagery to figurative works, the paintings and drawings are displayed salon style, purposefully open-ended and ambiguous. There is no single narrative thread to be taken literally by the viewer; however, the themes circulate around Hamlet’s pathos in regard to patriarchy, power, and subjectivity. The imagery’s literal and symbolic representations aim to provoke evocative associations and synaesthetic feelings in the mind of the viewer. With images culled from film stills, art history, and media culture, the works are fervently rendered in an effort to conjure what Mayerson sees as the inner essence of the image and its content. Each single picture stands alone as a work of art, while the entire series, as a pictogram, represents the dreams and nightmares of our times. Mayerson’s Hamlet 1999 exists to make the viewer aware of their own subjectivity, and help access the experience of the sublime.


Keith Mayerson first came to prominence in the early 1990’s with Pinocchio the Big Fag, his homoerotic retelling of the famous children’s story, which premiered at the Kiki Gallery in San Francisco and traveled to the Drawing Center in New York and to Los Angeles. In 1995 Keith Mayerson moved to New York City. His first New York solo show was in 1997 and featured raw psychedelic abstract painting alongside equally nuanced paintings from film stills. He has published a critically acclaimed graphic novel (a collaboration with Dennis Cooper), and is on display as part of the permanent collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.



Derek Eller Gallery is located at 526 West 25th Street, 2nd floor. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 11am - 6pm.  For further information or visuals, please contact the gallery at 212.206.6411 or visit