SPRING/BREAK Art Show
4 Times Square, NY, NY 10036 ROOM 2331
March 1-5, 2017

The Self on the Shelf

ERIK BENSON • JAKE CARTWRIGHT • MARIANA GARIBAY RAEKE • ZACHARY NORMAN • ERIN O'KEEFE • KRISTEN SCHIELE • MICHAEL WOODY

Curated by Rob de Oude

The Self on the Shelf features artists who distance themselves from their work by negating the direct touch, instead emphasizing in their processes the unbridgeable distance between themselves and their works. The remove of the self as a personal handle could be based on ever expending societal parameters, expectations and demands. The so- called “Loaded Brush,” laden with emotional directness may no longer be relevant to the experience of life in the present, in which experience is mediated as a matter of course. The multitude of screens, each layered with information demanding to be processed, pushes our psyches to the indirectness of a removed experience. Metaphorical shields are used in various ways to avoid confrontation with our direct surroundings.

Erik Benson collages layers of dried acrylic paint into surreal and at times dazzling cityscapes that convey metaphors for dystopian urban blight.

Jake Cartwright employs a paint roller and squeegee based technique to revisit the overall compositional elements that may seem familiar from the heyday of Abstract Expressionism, while relating his painting surfaces towards photography.

Mariana Garibay Raeke uses a casting process to reveal slight differences from one casting to the next indicating non-apparent and gradual changes of space and time.

Zachary Norman's photographs create spacial uncertainties with scientific references that destabilize reality.

Erin O’Keefe's use of the photographic process is to return to the idea of painting. She creating meticulous sets in her studio that ride the edge between the formalities of painting, sculpture and photography, while questioning the reality of each.

Kristen Schiele combines a multitude of mediums and processes, from stenciling to silk screen to collage. This eclectic, "un-pure" approach infuses current political and social relevance into work that might best be described as “pop-activist-formalism”.

The paintings by Michael Woody are made through an airbrushed acrylic technique that creates a soft edge and blurred visual that seems to riff on the familiar hard edge and grid based abstract paradigm.

Through their indirect processes, the artists in The Self on the Shelf create a zone of detachment in which to work, and in so doing create layered experiences which mirrors the contexts of their practices.