Great Jones Street
Gallery No. 39 New York, NY
Wesley Martin Berg: My Gang
Wednesday November 10, 2010 6-9pm
“This motif is the undercurrent in a culture of shifting ideologies. The imagery represents the recurrent death of civilization, morality, rebirth, corruption, piety, sex and God. The decadence my characters are engaged in is the sort that questions and is reactionary to contemporary American ideologies.” – Wesley Martin Berg
The Harleston Studio is pleased to present Wesley Martin Berg’s “My Gang.” This follows the group show "Everybody is Welcome" at NYCAMS in New York.
Hobos, quasi colonial-conquistador transients and current events taken from newspapers and mutated into varied interpretations, are the motifs that populate Berg’s current body of work. Comprised of paintings, plaster wall reliefs, cement sculpture and video made with Bryce Zachery; explore ideas of nationalism, colonialism and fringe culture. Concepts taken from French revolution and philosophies are put into dichotomies with contemporary America; most importantly, the idea of the displacement of social structure. The silhouette for his hobo motif comes directly from Delacroix's famous: Liberty Leading the People, painted in 1830.
Berg’s work is an evolution of this character, and this character has become deviant. The silhouette of Delacroix's upper class revolutionary or the American business man has become transformed and debased. Existing in a time and wardrobe that is caught between the past and the future and references contemporary fashion designers like John Galliano, his hobo is motivated by decadence. This decadence is not involved with capitalist or the more pedestrian, consumer sort. This is decadence for decadence sake. Freedom and decadence are hand in hand. The imagery represents the recurrent death of civilization, morality, rebirth, corruption, piety, sex and God. Unlike Delacroix's pre-generative who is determined and looking forward into the future as well as the simple drifter from mid century Americana, the decadence Wesley’s characters are engaged in is the sort that questions and is reactionary to contemporary American ideologies.
Wesley Martin Berg is a painter of talent and insight. Prior to completing the Edward F. Albee Foundation residency in Montauk, his work has been exhibited in the group show "Everybody is Welcome" at NYCAMS in New York. In 2009 his work was exhibited in "Living and Dreaming" at the Bronx Museum of Art and later in the group show "Art is Life" at 8 Bond Street, New York curated by Joseph Hayes III. As a member of the collaborative group Tim Rollins + K.O.S. he has exhibited internationally since 2007.
Berg Lives and works in New York City.
For further information contact Joseph Hayes III at firstname.lastname@example.org or 347.400.5765