Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 6
On view:September 6 - October 5
HOW YOU USE IT The importance of an object revolves completely around perspective. For example, when I was a kid, I would pass crammed dumpsters and see opportunities like forts, robots, rune stones, and puppets. As someone who hails from a line of tinkerers and hoarders, I’ve come to see disparate scraps as possibilities. In my work, I address just that - the possibilities of found objects and the character they’ve developed on their journey leading up to my studio. As I consider my own specific process, it becomes evident that the perception of objects changes according to the lenses from which they are viewed. In How You Use It, the selected artists have all created works that bring “the object” meaning in context. In her paintings of bowerbirds, Gigi Chen offers perspective in the inherent beauty and form of scavenged materials. As part of their mating ritual, these birds aim to create the most attractive and elaborate nest possible, bridging the gap between form and function, meticulously curating objects of all types and origins. The collaborative duo, Gentleman’s Game, uses a combination of objects in renderings and found images as major elements in their work to create a narrative. These components allow a connection with artifacts as clues to who the paintings’ subjects are, and where they sit within the fantastic world they live. Liz Pasqualo’s approach to this topic is present in her paintings of graffiti covered properties from New York City’s streets. Here, the layers of competing tags evoke the subject of ownership. That door, window, or mail slot belongs to who signed it with drips and streaks of pigment – even if only until the next owner comes along to do the same with their own moniker. Visakh Menon brings the idea of “stuff” into the new age of technology through the back alley of tactility. Menon’s glitch paintings reference the digital sphere’s imperfections and anomalies with painted, inked, and collaged elements. This calls into question how we define objects when confronted with a realm where objects are no longer exclusively tangible, and can exist as ones and zeros. In his extensive catalog of works, Steven Balogh has historically used found materials to produce allegory through a surrealist vocabulary. His method of work ties specific recognizable items that, when combined, efficiently creates his story. His dance slippers, for example, contrast the elegance of ballet with the menacing image of clustered razorblades referencing the pain and sacrifice that makes a dancer’s gracefulness possible.
The connection between living and inanimate things is a relationship that spans entire lifetimes. As this connection evolves, so does our perspective. These objects become fundamental details in our daily lives and earn a soul. They are endowed with meaning and, more importantly, grow into vessels through which to speak their individual voice. -Aaron Schraeter Artist/Curator