North Gallery: Hybrids 5.0

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North Gallery: Hybrids 5.0

602 Moulton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90031
November 3rd, 2007 - November 24th, 2007
Opening: November 3rd, 2007 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

downtown/east la
Open by appointment unless otherwise indicated per exhibition.

Raid Projects is pleased to present Hybrids 5.0: new watercolor and egg tempera paintings by Paul Paiement.  This is Paiement’s first Southern California solo exhibition since his successful museum debut at the Laguna Art Museum and the publication of his award winning book Hybrids 1.0-3.5 (Laguna Wilderness Press). The current work utilizes three-dimensional screen-like overlays that simultaneously reveal and conceal the imagery underneath. The screens are made with wooden dowels and bits of watercolor paper embedded into the supports. The two-dimensional surface references half-tone screens used in commercial printing, while the three-dimensional qualities allude to pixel depth in digital photography.

It would be difficult to argue against the claim that the digital era has changed contemporary life. Only a decade ago, cell phones were more novelty than necessity and PDA meant making-out in public, not handheld device.  Paiement examines this confused status of nature, reality, and possibly even the spiritual in late capitalism.

As the series’ title suggests, Paiement’s Hybrids analyze the disparate structures of the natural world as pared against the synthetic, or plastic reality of human existence. But instead of drawing dichotomous comparisons, Paiement’s meticulous constructions conversely point to similarities between the organic patterns and shapes of insects and the design of any number of iPods, cell phones, PDAs and boomboxes. These are playful images underpinned by the possibility of universal architectonics.

As Paiement continues to skillfully play with ideas of manipulation and mass production, the effect, while at times playful, can be chilling. When the science of cloning, and the constant desire to make people, animals, weapons of war, and goods faster and better has reached a fever pitch, these paintings hint at an apocalypse.

Paiement has shown widely in solo and group shows in New York, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, London, Chicago, and Southern California. His work was most recently featured in solo shows at the Laguna Art Museum and Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco. Group shows include Re-Presenting Representation VII at the Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY; Bugology at The Armory, Pasadena,CA; and Bug Out of the Box: A New Look at the Contemporary Art, History, and Science of Bugs at the Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA; and in Cyborg Manifesto or The Joy of Artifice at the Laguna Art Museum. Paiement's work has been featured in several publications including Art in America, Artscene, Modern Painters, Artforum, Ouest (France),  ArtweekStep Inside Design, Communication Arts, Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times, and the New Art Examiner. Paiement received his MFA from the University of Southern California in 1995.