Transforming Identity... Again
June 23rd 2016
19 Willard Road, Norwalk, CT
Transforming Identity...Again is a group show curated by Claudine Maidique featuring emerging and established local artists responding to intrinsic changes in their work, their surroundings, and in themselves as artists. We celebrate the following artists, varying in breadth and medium: Nina Bentley, DeeRose Barba, Miggs Burroughs, Danielle Holmes, Jahmane, Duvian Montoya, Joel Werring, Tammy Winser, Pam Zaremba.
The varying subject matter and media of this exhibition runs the gamut from the personal to societal, from photography to mixed media. The exhibit engages with a current conversation in both the art and sentient world about who and what is real. Identity and reality are constantly shifting, literally and virtually. Nothing stays static, nor does stagnancy have a place in this evolving world. Miggs Burrough's lenticular pieces reveal his fascination by all the transformations, big and small, real and imagined, that take place every moment of our lives.The lenticular medium is suited to capture these transitions in real time, enlisting you, the viewer, as the ultimate storyteller.
Brooke Werhane Maples also conducts changes in her paintings by using both left and right hand, lending themselves to the oddities of "mistakes" in line or color. Taking inspiration from her children and her faith, as depicted in "Untitled (Praying Girl)", she employs her personal memories and dreams to create stories with the hope to translate emotions recognizable to the viewer, thus creating an intimate connection.
When working with transparency and light, Danielle Holmes also strives to establish intimacy by expressing her vulnerability in the now of her existence. Her colorful undertones seep through the gauzy whites and reveal the evolutionary process of origin to the current state in which she inhabits while also alluding to what is coming. DeeRose Barba creates form and volume in simple, delicate pen and ink drawings, illustrating the spilling of one body into another, creating a new being.
Nina Bentley's mixed media mirror pieces encompass the perceptions one has of oneself and how we access, reflect and struggle to accept how we look and the roles we have. The shabby medicine cabinet is simply a plea to look below the surface before judging. "A Charmed Life" is a heavy bracelet...a weight...The objects surrounding the chain represent the roles women have been relegated in the home and workplace. Clearly great strides and changes have occurred and great opportunities have opened up. But certainly NOT everywhere; the weight of the chain remains great.
Tammy Winser's “Train of Thought” pieces examine sentiments for a given time period and how sensorial stimuli affect these sentiments; why certain ideas flourish and others just die. The background images in this series are photographs taken on a train ride into New York City, literally depicting the speed at which life is flying by us. The foreground images are the seemingly random thoughts that arise along the way. Placing them blantly into focus in one's visual field allows us to view both subconscious and conscious content simultaneously, thus illustrating the purity of intention and desire in that moment.
Oil works, “Signs of the Times” was derived from the overwhelming bombardment of signs that littered our landscape in 2009 with advertisements of empty storefronts. Duvian Montoya feels that these are symbols of dashed hopes and dreams of people who once lived, worked or celebrated within their walls. These storefronts sat vacant of life but have once again come alive with the hopes of other dreamers and entrepreneurs. Referencing his father, “the future belongs to those who believe in the reality of their dreams”.
Graffiti artist, Jahmane's satirical "posters" depict the glamorization of cocaine and alcohol within minority communities, which can lead to both self destruction and social, economic, and moral decay. In this series, he explores pop culture and the urban world, depicting his subjects oblivious to the manipulation of advertisements of consumer and illicit products. The exaggerated and celebrated dependency of these substances not only affect the individual but a community as a whole.
Joel Werring's responds to the changing of communities in his oil paintings from his Eye Pennies collection, reference the seemingly feel-good era of the fifties, when American families connected and clinged to the hope for a better life. There's a subtle lament for those innocent times, where as a country, life appeared simpler and happier than the stresses we face in the fast-paced world we inhabit today. His palette recalls a purity of color and light, suggesting a bygone era that appears more like a dream, not unlike the saturation of Pam Zaremba's photographs of a similar time in her father-in-law's sixties house in Tampa, Florida, where time appears to stand still. In beauty and eeriness, both artists capture the essence of the memories of those past generations.
Transforming Identity…Again explores the ways that these various artists define themselves in relationship to the dynamic, relentlessly changing world, both within and without themselves. Throughout this group exhibit, we gain insight from a variety of individual artists committed to understanding how the demands of the art world forces them to respond to that changing landscape and continually reassess their relevance, all while maintaining integrity and expression of self.