Mail Order Monsters
Curated by Kathy Grayson
July 1 – August 4, 2007
FRAN SPIEGEL | DENNIS TYFUS | BEN JONES | TOMOO GOKITA | EDDIE MARTINEZ | WES LANG | RY FYAN | TAYLOR MCKIMENS | JOE GRILLO
July 1 – August 4, 2007
Opening: Sunday, July 1, 7 – 9pm
Peres Projects presents a group exhibition by curator Kathy Grayson exploring new trends in fucked-up figuration. Every generation has its unique take on the figure and the most exciting new art seems to all see the figure as broken, decaying, fractured, and monstrous! Each artist in this exhibition exemplifies this pervasive tendency in a unique way:
Fran Spiegel’s soupy, sloppy women protrude from and are engulfed by pop slime piles. The glammy gory juxtaposition presents an interesting visual conundrum of seduction and repulsion.
Dennis Tyfus’ work comes out of graffiti, comics, and underground art and music in Europe and America. The monsters that inhabit his hectic drawings are rude, humiliating, drunk and aggressive. Their central concern is bare survival, and in their strange jungle-like existence they attack and dominate. Having interesting affinities with graphic styles of Providence RI but distinctions all his own, Dennis comes from Antwerp, where he is a vibrant part of the underground music and art scene.
Ben Jones, a member of east-coast art collective Paper Rad, takes neon and comic to new oddities of meaning. With the handstyle of the best graffiti artist and the conceptual rigour of a dada-ist, his paintings, sculptures, and comics take a fresh look at figuration with their subtleties of form and make you think about a face in new ways.
Tomoo Gokita favours creepily still portraits of women and wrestlers executed exclusively in black and white. These faces occasionally escape his brush unscathed, but more often are tangled into knots, unearthed by abstract machine-like forms, or obliterated in one big gesture. With the existential angst of a Bacon sous-rature but the pop-comic chicanery of a gifted graphic artist, his portraits are more than silly and less than tortured.
Eddie Martinez favours men in hats, potted plants, parrots, and patterns. Drawing with paint, and often hastily, he configures ambiguous scenes of interaction played out equally between barely-held together figures and the inanimate objects that decorate their interiors.
Wes Lang’s monsters come from the cultural detritus of a very fucked-up America. He takes images pushed under the cultural carpet and forces them back into view to be countenanced. He often takes on Native American art, black Americana, the Civil War era, or pornography in his exploration of the deleted scenes of American history.
Ry Fyan is a hyperrealist painter who makes hallucinatory figures out of animals, products, and landscape. Painstakingly crafted but yet still with a feeling of the improvisational and mutable, his sharp, symbolic and sometimes silly formulations address themes of technology and nature, consumer and consumed.
Taylor McKimens’ monsters are not terribly other-worldly or fantastical but are rather the monsters next door, down the street, or on the wrong side of the tracks. Deadbeats and derelicts roam sparse, harshly lit worlds of soggy bread and Band-Aids, bologna and knotted garden hose. The palette is a dulled Fixin’s Bar of mustardy yellows, graying tomatoes, and limpid greens-bloodless but not unfeeling, and pastels have never looked quite so sinister. Taylor has a predilection for the entropic-splatters, drips, tangles, messes and decay, rust and ruin-all the corners where disorder begins to reclaim our fabricated environment and our bodies. No one is smiling and everyone is somehow sweaty.
Joe Grillo is a member of Virginia Beach art collective Dearraindrop and has been putting the figure through the pop media shredder for years with very hyperreal results. Visiting a Dearraindrop show is like being flushed down reality into a black-lit dayglo aquarium of decanted cultural precipitate and psychotic acid ooze. Myths, symbols and cartoons take on a life of their own with the horror of basic concepts in meltdown. Winking, jabbering, and hieroglyphic, Joe’s horror vacui paintings and drawings are an uneasy dream squeezed full of monsters and American archetypes.
For further information or reproductions please contact Margherita Belaief at tel. +49 30 6162 6962 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Javier Peres at Javier@PeresProjects.com.