Christopher Chiappa and Cheryl Pope
Rena Sternberg Gallery presents a show featuring work by artists Christopher Chiappa and Cheryl Pope. Hailing from New York and Chicago, respectively, Chiappa and Pope’s works center on the human experience. Pope worked as a mediator for high school students to create jarring banners with self-reflective messages concerning anxiety and self-esteem. Chiappa channeled the laws of chance to demonstrate the futility of purposefulness through repetitive forms of dripped paint. Although one artist works singularly and the other works collaboratively, both artists confront the viewer with the anxiety and struggle of daily life.
The exhibition highlights works from multi-disciplinary artist Cheryl Pope’s collaboration with high school students, entitled A Silent I. The students submitted one truth and one lie about themselves. Twenty unlabeled truths and lies were selected to be reproduced into banners that reference athletic championship flags. Pope’s intent was to address poignant issues of identity, self-worth, and inner-personal relationships. This struggle of internal identity and physical identity speaks to all ages. Cheryl Pope received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited in numerous venues, including Monique Meloche Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Contemporary Wing in Washington, D.C.
Christopher Chiappa's conceptually informed work addresses the anxiety and futility of daily life through the artist's personal experience. His new Fried Egg Painting series explores the productive possibilities of personal compulsions and obsessive repetitions. Chiappa's fried egg fascination began when he “started attempting to copy a small, accidental facsimile discovered on my studio floor: a white paint smudge with a perfect yellow drop in the middle resembling a yolk.” Chiappa drips white and yellow paint from sticks onto hardwood panels, a process that renders each “egg.” The attempt and its inevitably imperfect outcome serve as both the process and the content of this series. Chiappa has held numerous solo and group exhibitions nationwide. In 2012, his work will be featured at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum and a solo show in October at Kate Werble Gallery, NY. His work has been reviewed by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, and Time Out: New York. Recently, he was named one of L Magazine's Five Art Stars You Need to Know.