Foxy Production presents a group exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Jimmy Baker, Sascha Braunig, Tomoo Gokita, and Violet Hopkins that mixes realism and optical fantasy. With very different approaches the artists make familiar images resonate with odd psychic energies: they conjure symbolic and emotive scenes that transform conventional perspectives into hallucinatory visions.
Jimmy Baker’s oil and resin paintings possess a fluidity that at once embraces and flouts figurative norms. With an eye to the history of landscape painting, he projects through a Romantic lens what appear to be war-journalists’ images of plane crashes (one crash site had in fact been “remote viewed” by CIA psychics before being discovered). Baker elides the fantastic and the realistic in these scenes of extreme actions set before backdrops of serene beauty.
Sascha Braunig combines vibrant color and an hypnotic style in paintings that reflect upon illusion and the surface of the image. In dream-like scenes where repetition and patterning are foregrounded, Braunig's female subjects - with their eyes covered by crystals or replaced by lights - emit an extrasensory glow. Flaring with reflected color, they are iridescent beings whose very skin seems to be a source of psychic power.
Tomoo Gokita’s monochromatic paintings fragment, distort and reconfigure familiar, highly charged images. His black-and-white enamel and spraypaint portraits push figurative disintegration to the limits. His subjects, in the process of disassembling, allow multiple, often enigmatic readings to be made. Black lines on white fields form figures that seem to override the images beneath them, as if Gokita’s paintings were battlegrounds for competing representations.
Violet Hopkins’ works on paper bring inner and outer worlds together: her watercolors on black paper use a Rorschach-like technique to produce beautiful, uncanny images that may be either strange microscopic beings or unknown solar systems. Just like Rorschach’s, Hopkins’ Inkblots demand viewers hook their imaginations into the flows and swirls of color. With a sensibility that mixes Romanticism and skeptical inquiry, Hopkins’ works delve into the metaphysical and symbolic basis of our relationship to abstract forms.
JIMMY BAKER (Dover, OH, 1980) lives and works in Cincinnati. He holds a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and an MFA from The University of Cincinnati. Exhibitions include: Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (upcoming 2011); 176 Zabludowicz Collection, London; New Galerie de France, Paris (solo)(both 2010); Foxy Production, New York (solo)(2008); LISTE 08, Basel (solo); Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati (both 2008); Roberts and Tilton Gallery, Los Angeles (solo); and Western Exhibitions, Chicago (both 2007).
SASCHA BRAUNIG (British Columbia, Canada, 1983) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a BFA from The Cooper Union and an MFA in painting from Yale University. Recent exhibitions include: Recess Gallery, New York (2010); ATM Gallery, New York; Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study, Philadelphia; Everything Must Go, curated by Rachel Higgins, Century Plaza Shopping Mall, Birmingham, AL (all 2009); The Cabernet Initiative, Brooklyn, NY; and J. Vandervoort Werkhaus, Brooklyn, NY (both 2008).
TOMOO GOKITA (Tokyo, 1969) lives and works in Tokyo. Recent exhibitions include: Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo (with Erik Parker)(upcoming); ATM Gallery, New York (solo); Saatchi Gallery, London (all 2010); Honor Fraser, Los Angeles (solo); ATM Gallery, New York (solo); Macro Future Museum Rome (all 2009); Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2008); Deitch Projects, New York; and Peres Projects, Berlin (both 2007).
VIOLET HOPKINS (El Paso, TX, 1973) lives and works in Los Angeles. She holds a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. Exhibitions include: Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Southfirst, Brooklyn (both 2010); Foxy Production, New York (solo); Uschi Kolb Gallery, Karlsruhe, Germany (both 2009); Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO; Claremont Museum of Art, CA; Gallery Sora, Tokyo (solo) (all 2008); BaliceHertling, Paris (solo) (2007); and the Rubell Family Museum, Miami (2006-7).