Davidson Contemporary is pleased to present AMERICAN DEMONIC, a show curated by Eve Biddle.
The emblems of American society reflect a new animism that we worship both knowingly and unawares: Money, Multi-Culturalism, TV, Security, Machismo, Violence, Technology, Progress – among so many other gods. American demons give us strength but whether we let them control us, attempt to exorcise them, or simply don't realize their power, our relationship with them is manic and reflects our collective struggle with American identity. American Demonic presents nine artists whose works illustrate and harness these spirits. By illuminating what hides in the shadows of American consciousness, perhaps we can position ourselves for a confrontation with our demons.
John Delk presents iconic American objects repurposed and resurfaced: an American flag dipped in candy apple syrup traps our most emblematic symbol in viscous kitsch; a universal remote cast in lead deadens our ability to consume.
Masha Lifshin distills real estate browsing into a web-based work of art, toying with aspirations of money and status. The manipulation of advertising has been further perverted, revealing a base simplification of what we deem compelling.
In a political climate rife with shovel-ready projects, Kelly Goff's exploration of beauty, futility, and machismo in the essential world of construction calls on us to question our ambitions of safety and progress.
Of Dominican and Norwegian roots, Las Hermanas Iglesias created Everybody Likes to Dance, a multicultural mash-up exploring both their mixed heritage and their protean relationship to it. Las Hermanas invite viewers to join in the dance under a sky of custom disco balls reminiscent of an American high school prom.
Lisa Iglesias represents the American spirit in her Rodeo Series by acknowledging the cultural iconography of bucking horses and bulls. Isolated from their context, they become grotesque, and separate from their romantic mythology.
Sarah Hardesty's fragile installation shows the modularity and ephemeral nature of how we relate to our demons. The relationship is tenuous, vulnerable and, when broken, capable of surviving by rearranging into something new.
Eliza Myrie examines race, sex, class, and politics through a filter that is neither righteous nor expository. Her work is evocative but not didactic, allowing the viewer to confront socially pervasive issues with which we are often unable to cope.
Matthew Watson subverts the technique and craftsmanship of the Old Masters in his hyper-realistic portraits of transients. The obsessive skill and detail awe the viewer, imbuing the subject matter with an eerie care, elevating them to aspiration.
William T. Wiley reminds us that even in the constant and consistent tragedy of war and politics, there is humor. Thank god, or whatever demon possesses you today.
Eve Biddle is a New York-based artist and independent curator. In 2008, she co-foundedThe Wassaic Project, a multi-disciplinary arts organization in Wassaic, NY, that facilitates interaction and collaboration among artists and the public. Biddle and Wassaic Project co-director Bowie Zunino have collaborated since 2008 as the interactive arts team Eve + Bowie and have shown both nationally and internationally. In addition, Biddle creates large-scale public mural projects and murals on commission with her husband and collaborator Joshua Frankel. This is Biddle’s first collaboration with Davidson Contemporary.