Jeff Bailey Gallery is pleased to present Mark Shetabi, The Grand Tour. In new paintings and sculpture, Shetabi explores ideas about travel, transition and escape.
Several sculptures of Campers serve as points of departure on this tour of relics. Their exteriors are neutral in color and the windows emit a soft, glowing light. Resting on cylinders, with no attachment to a car or a truck, they could be new or old, ready for use or abandoned. Their simplicity recalls early examples of modernist architecture or sculpture.
Another sculpture, Arcade, is a pared down version of a video game, circa 1980. Its outer form is like a shell, a repository for a technology that was once dazzling, now obsolete. Even so, the screen still gives off a faint light.
Girl on a Bicycle is a painting of a girl pedaling down a sun-dappled road - a moment of leisure drawn out in the slow time of painting. It is difficult to date the image, as the girl’s clothing might be from the 1950s, ‘80s, or even today. Caspian Sea Hyatt depicts the once chic lobby of a 1970s hotel. Like other hotels before and after it, its style has become passé.
Other paintings and sculptures recall forms that constitute the visual white noise of the adolescent memories of the artist: a double-kick drum set on a glowing stage is modeled after a kit played by Keith Moon; or the heroic opening sequence of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Within this framework of the familiar and archetypal, Shetabi seeks to depict objects and images in a way that invites further consideration. Addressing these subjects through the static forms of painting and sculpture, Shetabi provides a place for resistance against the eventual disappearance of things.
This is Shetabi's fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States. He is a 2002 recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Exhibition reviews have appeared in Art in America, The Philadelphia Enquirer, artnet.com and other publications. Shetabi lives and works in Philadelphia, where he is Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at Tyler School of Art.