For this series of paintings entitled Messy, artist and painter, Grace Deal manipulates the parameters of setting and space. In a desire to simulate the process of using Photoshop, Deal adds and subtracts to and from her work with reckless abandon. Working with content selected from her home town, Dayton, Ohio. Deal seeks to capture the essence of rust belt America, and insert it into her life in Houston, Texas. Deal’s work, although representational, utilizes anxious mark making and line drawing in conjunction with her painterly scenes to evoke emotions of home life, family drama, and an archetypal feeling of not being good enough. Grace's work is a conversation between James Rosenquist's composition, Cecily Brown's beautiful layering, Gael Stack's subconscious scribbling, Willem de Kooning's color palette, and Alice Neel's use of the outline to highlight a subject's emotional dissonance.
Preston Douglas will be showing two recent bodies of work at the exhibition; RAVERFACE and BEAUTY IS VIOLENCE.
The RAVERFACE paintings, sculptures, and films explore the relationship between mid 2000's cybergoth culture and Rococo artists. The larger paintings examine the importance of landscape and excess between the digital world of cybergoths and Preston's favorite Fragonard paintings. The sculptures examine the similarities between raver braids, a meticulously crafted hair decoration popular amongst the cybergoths, with sculptors Antonio Corradini and Claude-Augustin Cayot. RAVERFACE is a contemporary conversation with Cali-Thornhill Dewitt's "Going to California" series, Mark Flood's use of digitally printed canvases, David Hockney's iPad paintings, and Richard Prince's practice of questioning ownership and authorship.
BEAUTY IS VIOLENCE is a proposition that emotional pain will inevitably arise when being in love with someone else. Growing up with an emotionally abusive relationship as an example of what love is has taken years for me to work through, and it is a continuing process to deal with that trauma, and learn how to not let the cycle repeat. The purple hues violently strewed across and soaked within the canvas embody an acknowledgement of my family history, and serve as a way of coping with the present while attempting to heal myself for the future. I fell in love with tribal sculpture through my research of Picasso, and his emotionally abusive tendencies hit close to home. No pun intended. I had my first art-related spiritual experience in the Cy Twombly Gallery at the Menil Collection many years ago, and his work will always affect a deep part of my subconscious, however I was consciously channeling Sigmar Polke's blue paintings while working on these canvases. It's up to the viewer to decide if they see flowers or gunshot wounds. "The whores in my head" reference comes from The Pixies song Hey, which comes full circle because Grace's Aunt, Kim Deal, was one of the founding members of the band.