7Dunham is pleased to present Recess, a group exhibition curated by Gessica Lesser and Beatrice Shen. Liza Farrell, John Garcia, Sara Griffin, and Charlie Masson are four New York based artists who pull intuitively from American youth culture to produce witty and playful statements on today’s mainstream trends. Though each artist's work may vary in medium and content, together they form a tongue-in-cheeknarrative on popular icons, mass consumption, and our contemporary lifestyle, all the while embracing the “lowbrow”. Drawing imagery from pop to punk, they experiment with and highlight the deviations of modern society. The works are purposefully void of highfalutin and pompous attitudes and instead seek to infuse humor and satire back into the artistic atmosphere. Evocative of relaxation and the pursuit of leisure, the title explicitly reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously.
Liza Farrell seeks to explore identity through her portraiture of the modern, young, female muse. The purposefully gaudy imagery plays along with, yet simultaneously breaks free of the boundaries set by the loud bombardment of excess and objectification. Farrell acknowledges that the constant barrage of ever-changing information, led by vanity and icons such as Beyonce, ingrain certain ideals into our psyche. Yet by isolating each glaring form, Farrell maintains a sense of minimalism in her figures. The visual confinement in turn alludes to the feeling of loneliness – a communal growing pain felt by the Internet generation.
Taking a point of departure from his Southern Californian roots, John Garcia’s works are directly influenced by the skate, surf, and punk-rock history of Los Angeles. In addition to his background, Garcia uses his experience acquired moonlighting as a sign painter all over the five boroughs of New York to invoke nostalgia for the past. Garcia’s bi-coastal vintage aesthetic is reflected in his painted collages of concert flyers as well as his abstract studies. His large-scale word paintings incorporate texts to literally spell out declarations for what we may all yearn for and what we can possibly do without.
Through the process of re-imaging and posturing, Sara Griffin’s Hug Life series plays homage to and redefines recognizable Rap icons. Griffin manipulates the original tough and aloof portraits with bright and innocent childlike elements to subvert the original meaning. By replacing blunts with bubbles and strippers with balloons, the final product is a tribute to the universal nature of joy and pride, the idealization of celebrity, and the beauty of kitsch. A die-hard fan of Kanye West in particular, Griffin has especially created custom “Kandoms” for this exhibition inspired by Mr. West’s most recent music video “Bound 2”.
Charlie Masson reinvigorates Pop Art’s longstanding conversation on irony associated with man-made objects in his bubble wrap paintings. Masson follows the Benday dots comic book style from the 1960’s to present a contemporary take on timeless subjects. Aside from the obvious literal connotation associated with painting in a Pop Art style on a pop-able surface, Masson’s works also concern the superficiality of today’s society. In a brand new work that follows many great artists of the past, Masson incorporates the American flag on an American made product to comment directly on our materialistic values. The bubble wrap’s inherent fragility also serves as a memento mori; a reminder that not everything valued today will be of value tomorrow. Bubbles are bound to eventually burst.
For more information about the artists in this exhibition and general inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beer for the opening reception has been provided by Brooklyn Brewery.
Upcoming Event: WILLIAMSBURG EVERY 2:ND FRIDAY
Friday, April 11th 2014, 6 – 9 PM