2017 BLACK MIRROR at CHARLIE JAMES GALLERY
In Black Mirror, 13 artists respond to the current political and cultural moment through painting, drawing, installation, photography, and video. The works in this exhibition contend with what it means to live in the age of Trump, Wikileaks, and border walls; an age when the term BlackLivesMatter holds urgent currency, women’s bodies are once again up for grabs and whole segments of the population are obliged to live in a state of erasure. The artists employ disparate approaches in their responses to this historical moment: subversive humor and wit, practical guidance, documentation and conceptual analysis, poignant abstraction, emotional release.
The title, Black Mirror, is taken from the dystopian TV show, which examines the dangerous capacities of technology and social media to shape our thoughts and control our behaviors. Black Mirror refers as well to Claude Glass, small mirrors used by artists that abstract and distort the reflected subject.
with Andrea Marie Breiling, Dani Dodge, Kio Griffith, Karl Haendel, Kenyatta AC Hinkle, Cole M James, Elana Mann, Abdul Mazid, Thinh Nguyen, Warren Neidich, Claudia Parducci, Julia Schwartz, and Thaddeus Strode.
2016 DIG FOR FIRE
co-curated with David Lloyd and Rochelle Botello
Dig For Fire presents work by artists who share the pairing of painterly form with intuitive processes, and articulate arrested states of becoming with those forms and processes. Rochelle Botello’s sculptures are the word made flesh, abstract forms of chaotic color and pattern reaching and stretching into the third dimension. Whether they are sculptures becoming paintings, or paintings becoming sculptures, their in-betweeness is declared with a tactile language of collaged chromatic contrast and pattern reminiscent of digitally-produced camouflage, the supermarket detergent aisle, and Dubuffet. The strange specimens submitted by David Lloyd reveal instances of primordial image formation. Flourishes of illusion function alongside atmospheric washes of color, taped off patches of mark-making, and more, building up to an interior visual logic that is felt more than deduced. A felt logic also describe the blurs of becoming that are Julia Schwartz’s paintings. Slashes, strokes, and dabs of airy greens, yellows, and blues read almost as landscapes foregrounded by drawn suggestions of figurative presence. In all the work, the viewer is confronted with an original mediation of the artists' responses, unfiltered and taking shape by their own hand, a record and documentation of earthly, promethean desires.
with David Lloyd, Rochelle Botello, and Julia Schwartz
2015 STATES OF BEING AT TORRANCE ART MUSEUM
The phrase states of being can reference many different physical and psychological properties. However, these international artists are united in their desire to interpret their world in particular and specific terms. Each identifies a particular state of being as essential when creating their work, whether it be painting, drawing, or sculpture. Their state of being is not necessarily reflective of a state of mind. Instead, these artworks reveal how the artists find or expose themselves at any given point in time- as mothers, fathers, women, men, survivors, traumatized souls, and human beings
I think of these as ‘states of being’ paintings rather than self-portraits, the artist being immersed in a state of being that shines through the work, whether there are recognizable figurative elements or not. Is it a state of mind? A state of being or way of being is not necessarily a state of mind. They are how we find ourselves and show ourselves- as mothers, fathers, women, men, artists, survivors, and humans above all else. Perhaps all the work, whether heavily textured portraits or atmospheric fields of color, or text based paintings qualify as states of being work as each "serves as a window into how the artist is making sense out of his or her existence as a human being at the time of the creative act." (R. Stolorow)
with David McDonald, Mira Gerard, Rebecca Campbell, Julie Torres, Jennifer Wynne-Reeves, Julia Schwartz, Lucy Mink Covello, and Valerie Brennan