Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bret Payne / Nicole Andreoni - May at Transmission

Here are some images from the current show.
I have been researching honey bees. Pheromones,
systems, structures of class, their role in iconic
history, anthropomorphism, their role in a global
frame of mind. This body of work is much more
graphic than some of my other recent pieces. I've
also been getting back into drawing (with acrylic
ink). I hadn't drawn in years. Yes, I paint, sketch,
build, and print, but I felt like I needed to get a little
more intimate with my subject matter (which also
seems counter-balanced by the graphic quality of
the silkscreened honeycomb patterns that I've drawn
on top of). I'm thinking of going back into a few of these
if they don't leave the gallery walls to grace someone
else's environment.

A flower? Genitalia? No, this is the anatomy of a bee stinger. This print/drawing was done on 22 x 30 sheets of gray Rives. The yellow pops a bit more in person.The one on the right, "Black Currency" is a black silkscreen print on black paper
with a black acrylic ink drawing on top.

Below is "Heart of Darkness", inspired in part by the novel of the same name by Joseph Conrad. I highly recommend it if you have not read it. How many times and how many different ways has this myth been told? I had been looking at images of honeycombs made
back-to-back, and the semitransparent nature of the wax lead me into thinking about personas. Portions of the surface are cut out to reveal similar patterns, some slightly offset, creating
further systems/patterns/filters of personality.

Nicole Andreoni's work touches upon a fleeting innocence/purity. In this body of work, she has incorporated some printmaking into her drawings. Her flowers and semi-nude portraits (all of herself and/or her husband, Andy Kozlowski) are steeped in vanitas. Subtleties in skin tones seem effortlessly acheived with gouache and tasteful luminescent layers. The flowers are labored over with true appreciation. The mundane becoming sacred, or the sacred in the mundane is a familiar motif in Nicole's work. I appreciate the lack of smiles on these "Adam" and "Eve" portraits. She is taking us up past the poison apple, but the characters are still young (a recent past show of hers had titles incorporating "Boy" and "Girl"). This cusp to me is more precious. The sub-surface experiences are bleeding through to the surface, and I feel like these characters are currently (or have recently been) dealing with either fear, embarassment, shame, or a tragedy that I feel may never be "given" to us.

These portraits are done with graphite and gouache.

Below is an untitle self-portrait done with graphite and gouache.
The flowers are linoleum prints.

Come see this show!

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