Taymour Grahne Gallery is proud to present Surface Tension, a solo exhibition of work by Texas-born, Pittsburgh-based artist Corey Escoto. Pairing a series of manipulated Polaroid photographs with corresponding sculptures that use the images as their structural blueprint, Escoto inverts and explores the relationship of the three-dimensional world to the flat, two-dimensional surface of its representation.
For this series Escoto uses the recently discontinued Fuji Color FP-100c45 ‘Polaroid’ film, the last commercial 4x5 instant film stock. Escoto states: “I am interested in the simultaneous emergence of digital photographic technologies, the waning of analog photography, the vast archive of images available on the Internet, and the possibilities that exist for the brief time that these technologies coexist.”
Modifying his camera to allow for the layering of hand-cut stencils and filters, Escoto creates multiple exposures that record and reveal flummoxing visuals. The resulting images are derived from reality and yet do not document the observable world. In contrast to the supposed photographic truthfulness of the Polaroid, Escoto’s slight of hand invokes the trope of photographer-as-magician, proving the medium to be as deceptive as it is representational.
Escoto’s sculptures further subvert the relationship of the image to its subject, reversing the photographic process so that the three-dimensional mimics the two-dimensional original. His work examines the interplay of surface and materials, the simultaneous layering of analog and digital, and the relationship between natural and simulated elements (such as marble and Formica). And while the reverse-engineered sculptural forms present an attempt to turn back time, decompress space, and convey strong tactile sensations, they also carry a political subtext, evoking the permanence (or disposability) of built environments, power structures, and the willing suspension of disbelief.
Escoto received a BFA from Texas Tech University in 2004 and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2007. Escoto has shown widely nationally and internationally, with select solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Regina Rex, Queens NY; and an upcoming exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA. His work has been included in exhibitions at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; The ArtHouse at Jones Center, Austin; and international venues including ACC Galerie, Weimar, Germany; Seven Days Brunch, Basel; FRAC Nord-Pas De Calais, Dunkerque, France. He is a recipient of the Gateway Foundation Grant and the Kala Art Institute Residency Program and Fellowship Award, and an Aperture Portfolio Prize finalist. The artist currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.