Queens Nails Projects is pleased to present Back to Front, an exhibition showcasing the artists who work in the back studios of the gallery: Luke Butler, Christina Empedocles, Jason Kalogiros, and Maggie Preston.
All four artists graduated from the California College of the Arts’ MFA program in 2008 and now find themselves working alongside each other in the studios at QNP. While all of the artists have independent and unique practices, the opportunity to exhibit together presents the subtle threads that run through their work. All of the artists reference connections to moments of history, shown through personal relationships with cultural pasts or historical developments in their particular mediums. Mostly, this exhibition is a chance for the artists to exhibit new work directly from their studios as each of them present recently completed or never before exhibited projects as well as experiments and departures from their usual practice.
Luke Butler isolates images of male authority that pervade the American cultural psyche, mixing pop culture iconography with political satire. Stripping bare (both literally and figuratively) individuals from a not so distant past such as former presidents and Star Trek characters, Butler objectifies these figures to represent futility and undone masculinity.
Christina Empedocles’ wax pencil drawings make use of obsessive realism as a means to explore the nature of memory, nostalgia and perception. Her work accumulates and assembles found objects and images, and creates a series of representations of representations. The images stand in for the things she has lost touch with over time and reveals the great distance from artist to source. By rendering what is obviously a facsimile, she monumentalize this distance between herself and the original, using the intense act of looking as a futile means of getting closer to the things she represents.
Jason Kalogiros’ practice embraces different methods of doubling and repetition so as to confuse past and present, copy and original, highlighting his interest in the subjective nature of representation, memory, and history. His work is rooted in a curiosity about photography, its history, its functionality, and about the physical and visual aspects of the medium itself.
Maggie Preston’s work is primarily based in observations and experiments with the basic elements of the photographic process. Manipulating the relationship between light, film, and imaging techniques, the interdependency of materials and the history of technical methods in photography become the subject of her work.