Jeff Bailey Gallery is pleased to present Erik Schoonebeek: Phantom Hand. This is his first solo exhibition in New York, featuring paintings and drawings made on found paper, old book covers and other materials.
Schoonebeek is influenced by contemporary advertising images, especially those seen while driving: road signs, billboards, commercial graphics, logos and posters. Although these images and graphic symbols are designed to communicate in some way, for Schoonebeek they become enmeshed with one another and change, as he says, “ into autonomous images that confront you with a blank stare”. From this source material, Schoonebeek forms his own imagery that hovers between recognizable graphic cues and amorphous narrative.
Not only does Schoonebeek sample and change found imagery, he also repurposes the surfaces on which he paints. Old book covers are torn from their bindings. Thus liberated, they take on a different agency. Random stains imbued by time become important compositional elements, as do existing decorative textures and patterns. The individual histories of each surface become integral counterpoints to the new paintings that they contain. With acrylic and gouache, bold color and a curvaceous line, Schoonebeek heightens these surfaces, and in so doing makes them into something new and mysterious, seemingly created, like much of what surrounds us, by a phantom hand.
Erik Schoonebeek received his MFA from Rutgers, State University of New Brunswick, New Jersey in 2011 and his BFA from State University of New York at New Paltz, New York in 2006. His work is currently featured in a group exhibition at Rawson Projects, Brooklyn, and has been exhibited at numerous venues throughout the norheast: Brick Walk Fine Arts, West Haven, CT; DNA Gallery, Provincetown, MA; Roos Arts Rosendale, NY and Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA. He lives and works in Highland Park, NJ.