DODGEgallery is pleased to present Go Figure, a group exhibition of 14 artists curated by Eddie Martinez.
THOUGHTS BY EDDIE MARTINEZ:
People say "painting is dead" and within that figure painting is mummified. Since painting began, we have used the figure to let people after us know that we existed before them. This is clear when we look at cave paintings wherein the "painted" people and animals and other symbols represented life. Looking at where figurative painting is today, there is more room for creativity and imagination. Take for instance the approach of artists in this show from Erik Parker's weirdo psychedelic melting faces to Jamison Brousseau's take on the figure represented by R2D2 from Star Wars. Gina Beavers current approach to the figure looks like studies that would have been done by someone enrolled in the "art students league" in New York City in the 1950's. Another interesting component of the work in this show are the materials used and the execution of the works. For example Allison Schulnik's technique is to use paint sculpturally to create her figures. She lays on thick impastos, whereas Daniel Gordon uses photography and collage to manipulate the look and feel of his work, often leaving the figures disfigured and mangled. Denise Kupferschmidt's drawings evoke a re-imagined historical feel with paired down, Egyptian-meets-sci-fi characters.
DODGE: Why did you select these artists?
EM: Because I like the work, and I like all of their work for different reasons. Once the figure-based theme of the show took shape these were the artists that made sense to me.
DODGE: How are some of the different artists working with the figure?
EM: They’re working with different materials and material execution- from manipulated photography of Daniel Gordon to airbrushed painting of Jose Lerma.
DODGE: What is interesting to you about the figure? Why do you use it in your own work?
EM: It seems like working with the figure can never be fully exhausted. Somehow it links to the obsession we have with death and beauty. There are innumerable ways to interpret the human form. I myself am striving more towards abstraction actually but I suspect the figure will always be present.
DODGE: Why should we care about figure painting now?
EM: This is a question I don’t have an answer for.
DODGE: I'm curious about the dual nature of figure painting having the ability to be simultaneously both projections of the artist's identity and the "everyman", or figures on which the viewer can project themselves. Thoughts?
EM: Too much too think about.
DODGE: How do you imagine hanging the show? Salon? Relating particular works? (The room downstairs will automatically create a conversation between pieces.)
EM: I wont know until we get the works.
DODGE: Why "Go Figure" as a title?
EM: It is simple and funny, obviously it is a phrase commonly used but you can also look at it as championing figurative painting.