Preview: Wednesday, January 18th 6:30-9:00pm
Gallery Opening: Friday, January 20th, 6:30-9:30pm
Fantasy is a three-person show comprised of paintings and works on paper by emerging artists. The works in this show feature imagery related to childhood, fairytales and dream worlds. Each artist explores this theme in their own unique style by using their personal backgrounds as a starting point for their work. Altogether this show depicts a present-day examination of a modern day subject matter relating to fantasies.
Laura Ball’s paintings explore the ambiguity of play while straddling the boundary between fantasy and reality. Her images stem from games she played as a child with her mother and three sisters. This imaginary game they created was a tool they used to separate themselves from the ‘real world’ for the short duration of the playful competition. Once the game ended, it was back to reality and the activities of daily life that beckoned them. This alternative reality where the game took place is the world from which Ball creates her modern day fairytales. Ball’s images depict scenes of action with eruptions of playful aggression. In her works we encounter the moment of the clash, the realities of war and fighting. Some of Ball’s works from the War Games Series which include imagery of water pistols and carousel horses are based on true events. Ball uses her brother in laws’ experiences (told through the eyes of her sister) from his tour of duty in Iraq and she incorporates this knowledge of war into her works.
Alexis Duque’s paintings explore notions of innocence and violence, transgression and classical balance, fantasy & reality. In his work, Duque playfully manipulates the size of his figures depending on their compositions. By exaggerating the size of some figures, his works reveal some of the differences and contradictions in the human world, i.e. gender and race. Duque uses popular childhood imagery from storybooks and novels as his departure to explore the dualities toward the idea of childhood. The main characters in his paintings perform a particular role in a sinister, erotic and whimsical way creating an allegorical and metaphorical narrative structure. Duque takes these characters and places them in a different context thus giving them new meanings. He often combines vintage imagery with his own personal stylistic drawings. This juxtaposition between the old and the new creates a response that fluctuates between purity and corruption, balance and distortion. Duque’s work attempts to challenge our constructed responses to these images from our childhood. He does so by triggering a double take in the way the viewer confronts the idea of childhood and childish behavior within contemporary culture.
Jenny Laden in her most recent work has turned inward. She uses herself as the basis of her paintings by creating and capturing an introspective moment in time. Laden photographs herself with her reflection in a mirror; then she paints from what she has just created in the photo-based image. Thus her paintings become more about the relationship of the two images, about how the images relate to one another and how they invite the viewer in. Laden explains her work by saying, “The relationship between figure and reflection is parallel to the relationship between photography and painting. While photography creates an image through mechanical and digital means, paintings are experiential, direct and physical. Photography captures a moment objectively when you press a button and the camera records. Painting is about building an image slowly with countless emotional and formal decisions. And like the camera lens, the viewer experiences the painting with similar objectivity, seeing both what the camera saw and the embellished final painting. Using varied color schemes and decorative elements, these self-portraits are an elaboration of a specific photographed moment. Rather like in a fantasy or a dream, impossible forms become ordinary, and the simple act of looking in the mirror grows intricate with meaning.”
Laura Ball graduated from University of California, Davis, CA in 1995. She received an MFA from University of California, Berkeley in 2004. Ball currently lives and works in California. Alexis Duque graduated from the School of Fine Arts, University of Antioquia, Colombia with a BFA in 1995. Duque was born in Colombia and he currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Jenny Laden graduated from Barnard College in 1992. She received an MFA from New York University, New York in 1998. Laden currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.