D. Dominick Lombardi, Curator
Kim Foster Gallery
12.2.10 – 12.24.10
Reception: Thursday, December 9th, 6 to 8 pm
You need look no further than Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” to find the allure of the anonymous subject, as it wasn’t until
2005, that the sitter was finally identified. In more recent times, artists such as George Tooker, Manuel Neri, Atta Kim
and Barbara Kruger use the nameless to evoke a litany of concepts and emotions through the filter of mystery.
For this exhibition, we offer eight artists who continue that trend.
In “Smokingsinner #3” Richard Butler uses the setting of the
confessional booth, which has its own built-in identity eradication, to
build his narrative. Through the cutout woodwork we see a figure,
with blouse removed, exposing her black brassiere as a cloud of
smoke surrounds her head. One wonders how she defines sin.
Christian Faur painstakingly casts hundreds, even thousands
of encaustic crayons to create his ‘pointillist’ portraits based on
vintage photographs from the 1930’s. By using the pointed ends
of the variously colored crayons to make the features and color
modulations in the faces and backgrounds, the works look from afar
pixilated and contemporary. Close up, a matrix of colors emerge, as
the identity, which is lost to begin with, is completely lost.
Sherry Karver begins with black and white digital images of
crowded places, then randomly selects, colorizes and narrates
certain persons and their stories with fictional accuracy. We all look
and wonder about the people around us, the unfamiliar passersby
who look distracted, determined, comfortable or lost, and we may
wonder where they are going, and why.
The subjects of Whitfield Lovell’s drawings come from old
photograph’s he finds in flea markets, and second hand or antique
stores. Since it has been anywhere from 70 to 150 years since the
photographs have been taken, the identity of the African Americans
he depicts are long forgotten. By drawing them with such careful
and accurate details, Lovell reignites their spirits to a point where we
begin to ask questions.
Judith Page eradicates individual identity when she pours
pink tar gel over pictures of people either from her past, or
from various sources she mines like old books. Since the people
are dressed-up, and posed for a portrait, some aspect of what
they wish to project remains leaving the viewer with a general
description of the person with respect to wealth and power -
but no sense of individuality.
Antonio Petracca addresses generalizations common to
stereotyping. Through his investigation and depictions he shows
how generalizations based on ethnic and social preconceptions
can minimize individual identity. At the same time, Petracca blends
his content in a classic Modernist way, whereby everything fits
together to form a higher plane of awareness.
Mexican, immigrant day laborers are the subject of Dulce
Pinzón’s photography. Her process is to find the laborers we
pass everyday on street corners, the lower blue-collar workers
who blend into the background as they serve our needs, and
give them recognition by dressing them up as superheroes. By
doing something so overt as to ask these people to work in
such recognizable costumes, Pinzón creates an awareness of the
degrading aspects of their existence.
Alejandra Villasmil paints, draws and collages over vintage
magazine covers. The personalities that don the covers, even if
you could somehow recognize them, are lost forever as all or
most of the individual features are hidden under the applied
media. Villasmil is commenting as much on the way fame is
manufactured, as it is fleeting.
Richard Butler, Smokingsinner #3, oil on canvas, 52 x 44 inches
Christian Faur, WPA Portrait, hand cast encaustic crayons, 15 x 15 inches
Sherry Karver, The Simplicity of Being, diptych, mixed media and text, 50 x 80 inches
Whitfield Lovell, Kin II (Oh Kamballa), conte crayon on paper with found paper flags, 30 x 22 1/2 inches, Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery
Judith Page, Bubbles and Beast, pink tar gel over photos, 8 “ diameter plus shelf
Antonio Petracca, Three Brothers, oil, inkjet on canvas, 24 x 36 inches
Dulce Pinzón, Superheroes, Minerva Valencia from Puebla works as a nanny in New York. She sends 400 dollars a week.
Alejandra Villasmil, Mirror/Mirror, intervention on vintage magazine covers, 12 x 9 inches
Kim Foster Gallery 529 West 20th Street New York, NY 10011 212.229.00044