The work in this exhibition blurs the definitions of Realist and Representational art. While the artists are making work based on observing what they see, their work is not specifically about rendering for the sake of rendering or mastering a technique. What makes their imagery resonate is how their ironic humor, unique use of materials, and commitment to subject matter draws the viewer into their work.
Hilary Doyle paints the people she observes around her. Her inquisitive yet analytical approach towards materials creates innovative portraits that draw attention to abstraction, surface, and an awkward humanism.
Amy Hill paints portraits in a highly stylized manner that evokes different art historical genres and styles such as the Rembrandtesque images of her heavy metal musicians or painting modern day hipsters in a manner reminiscent of the Renaissance. Her work causes the viewer to contemplate the relationships between aesthetics and fashion that exist between art historical genres and her modern day characters.
Yoichiro Yoda creates a world where two passions exist simultaneously, Heavy Metal music and Old Historic Buildings. In “Desert Plain” he superimposes one of his favorite groups Judas Priest onto the sands of Coney Island with the “Childs Restaurant Building” in the background. He is an advocate for preserving old theaters and places that are in danger of destruction. It is his serious commitment to his subjects; their odd juxtapositions and primitive rendering that create an ironic and strange personal narrative.
Kazumi Tanaka recreates objects such as musical instruments and an old record player using materials such as animal skulls and her hair. The objects are a meditation on memory and loss. In her video piece “Messenger” she plays on miniature instruments that are based on her reaction to visiting Hiroshima during the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2. The use of her hair and the dead skull are a nod to the effects of radiation and the recent nuclear disaster in Japan. The miniature size is a way to give voice to those that are vulnerable, powerless, and negatively affected by the bad decisions of others.
The artists in this exhibition approach their subject matter and their process through different means albeit stylistic, instinctual or conceptual. The alternate and multiple thought processes that exist within each work allow the viewer to see a representational world in a different light.