The J. Cacciola Gallery is proud to present “Aloft,” an exhibition featuring works by three artists, Caitlin Hurd, Christian Johnson, and Jane Lafarge Hamill. While these artists share roots within the figurative tradition, each artist examines this visual vocabulary through a lens of modernity in a manner that results in three truly individual aesthetics. Each artist takes an elevated stance when approaching the human form, either by lifting the occupied space or viewing the forms from aloft. By manipulating how one views the physical, each artist breaks down the problematic conventions imposed upon the body by contemporary society.
Caitlin Hurd seeks to examine her culture by identifying individual aspects of the American dream. These aspects include notions of a nuclear family and a traditional work-life: ideals valued most by suburban and rural, American society. The floating individuals and animals of Caitlin Hurd’s bright, dream-like canvases appear simultaneously defiant of, yet burdened by, the effects of gravity. This juxtaposition achieves a sense of disconnectedness that reflects the detachment of the hopeful simplicity of the American dream from the more complicated reality of daily life.
Jane Lafarge Hamill, in this series, delves deeper into the idea of individual and public branding. Her suspended figures, wearing only logoed bicycle jerseys, reflect the dichotomy between corporate and personal labeling. Ultimately, Hamill’s paintings suggest that the imposing force of corporate labeling wins out over the individual, diminishing the sense of self. Hamill’s paintings are equally viscerally appealing as they are socially unsettling.
Christian Johnson’s stenocut prints portray the body assuming a variety of figural contortions. The series, which had their origin in the repetitive aspects of urban life, such as commuting, use this repetition as a foundation. About this series, Christian says, " I thought I would work… and find different ways to make the repetitive seem interesting.” Individually beautiful figurative representations, the works in this series, as a group, attain a subtle, rhythmic quality that is more than the sum of the individual parts. They function, at once, as figurative imagery and as a representation of the unfamiliar that is masked by repetition.