This past week I returned to my home town of Las Vegas for the opening of my exhibition at Trifecta Gallery titled “collected and represented.” It featured an installation of paintings created within my first year of living in Boston. Thank you to the staff at Trifecta for contributing to the production of this show, along with all my friends and family who came to support.
“collected and represented.” consisted of a nine “paintings” and one wall drawing that depicted a select amount of objects in the gallery (currency, office supplies, hardware, floral decoration, and important documents) multiplied into mathematical and non mathematical arrangements.
Square and circular panels alternated throughout the space depicting concentric motifs. The multiple alternations of these forms attempted to displace their singularity, symmetry, and autonomy.
I was pleased with how the subject-matter simultaneously directed and redirected attention from the original. Beveled plywood panels were brushed and sanded with layers of gesso to emphasize the picture plane. This caused the imagery to absorb inward, while the subject-matter referenced other visual languages in the space that re-directed attention outward.
I liked how the gallery’s sentimentality with the subject-matter was reduced by the viewer’s affiliation with these objects. Here, the red dot that was depicted in the imagery is placed next to the panel to indicate that the painting has sold.
Every “painting” was developed by scorching selected areas of gessoed canvas with an open flame. The controlling of fire and smoke would create residual impressions on the surface of the gesso. In this piece titled “Prime price point,” a series of receipt machines, receipts, coins, checks, and credit cards were rendered with fire to form a 15 point rotational symmetry. Themes of confinement and control can be linked to the process, subject-matter, and location of the work.
“Room to breathe” depicted three floreat hanging hardwares that were burnt onto the drywall of the three window wall panels in the space. The floreats were enumerated from smallest to largest.
Unlike the paintings, the flames were allowed to engulf the imagery and spread onto the wall of the gallery. I was interested how floreats suggest the future or past placement of a painting.
Topics of commodity, quantity, and reflection were present in the work as well as in price list.
Gallery director Marty Walsh had her dog “Spud” accompany us during the installation.
My good friend Jennifer Kleven surprised me with flambe’ cupcakes that she appropriately made for the reception.
Here’s a detail of Jen’s flambe’ cupcake in the center, with Jen on the left, and a Loui Vuitton candle on the right (presented to me as a gift from the regional Las Vegas Loui Vuitton sales team, who I was fortunate to give a private artist talk to prior to the reception).
Gallery director Marty Walsh at the opening reception.
Artist, art preparator, and friend JW Caldwell inspecting the wall text.
Overall, “collected and represented.” draws links between the artist, the exhibition space, and it’s viewers. The installation not only reproduces the already existing modes of control, but proliferates it and performs it. It is an exhibition that focuses on the materiality of painting, moving between painting as cultural artifact, object of contemplation, and market speculation.
Meanwhile next door at the Contemporary Arts Center, two of my close friends Justin Favela and Krystal Ramirez collaborated on a window installation titled “We are waiting” that referenced pinatas used in many Latin American cultures with a series of text that accompanied the piece.
During the weekend of my opening I was also fortunate enough to visit another close artist friend’s exhibit in Los Angeles. Aaron Sheppard with his exhibit “Yonic Inversion” was featured that month at Western Project.
Thank you to all my friends who made this series of events an exceptional experience!