NOV 11 - JAN 1: LIVE FREE AND DIE
Every four years the election season wafts into the bayâ€”a nauseating red tide. We ruminate: do we book it for the homeland? I certainly weigh the options of dairy farming in County Cork, maybe even bootlegging growth hormones in by boat from Amsterdam. I could complement the wholesome back-breaking labor with a slim output of watercolors. Paint the steaming cow shit as it congregates with the mist at dawn.
Everyone at PG is too overextended to back down from our posts at the frontier on 187 East Broadway. We're up to our ears in debt, outstanding arrest warrants and dinner party obligations. In LIVE FREE AND DIE, our artists aren't concerned with the cosmetic rhetoric of the election. They work full-time at the crash test site of commerce and entertainment, at the laboratory of indoctrination, and with weapons of mass distraction.
Nicholas Cueva is a Class A hoarder. Cueva received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011. His work only vaguely hints at the vast array of specimens and documents in his Brooklyn storage facility. The most delicate and resonate artifacts can be derived from the most delinquent schemes. Uploading a watercolor to the Internet can get you a poignant tapestry, straight from walmart.com.
Michael Ellis received his BA from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and his MFA from Northwestern University in 2004. Ellis has a dreamy and alchemic perspective on painting. He absorbs himself in attaining a pure system of mark making through a distilled process of research, counter-research, and corporate espionage.
Michael Bill Smith hails from Indiana. He was trained as an architect from the University of Kentucky and received his MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Smith operates in the byways and back alleys of the Midwest from South Bend to Kentucky. Elegantly crafted, his practice employs a creative strategy stemming from feminism. He rakishly applies social codes and frameworks to seductive substrates such as vinyl and upholstery; these seductions are then fastened to the wall with whimsical and intuitive improvisations. In short, the viewer is redirected from the polling booth down a cul-de-sac, into a bar, through the pool room, out the exit, then silently packed into the back of a van heading to Ontario.
Brian Hubble might be a serial killer. With a gun to my head, I would say â€˜Vanilla Twiceâ€™ is more politically pertinent than Monica Lewinsky. Vanilla Ice pioneered a contemporary trend in ruthless appropriation, and subsequently the manicured obfuscation of such behavior at a corporate level. Yes, of course, Hubble received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, did time in Liverpool, and graduated with an MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Bradford Kessler received his BA from the University of Kansas and his MFA from School of the Visual Arts in 2013. Kessler is a rigorous explorer of China and the new frontier; heâ€™s a surveyor of the technologically sublime in the age of the non-biodegradable. He has no qualms about booking us for a brief visit to the soul-tanning salon.
James Powers studied Government at Harvard and received his MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His most recent work is a disquieted observation of technological wastelands and ecological over-extension. Powers forecasts a return to feudalism (could be pleasant).
Madeline Reyna received her BA from the College of Charlston and will receive her MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Her paintings are rambunctious and terse â€“ part shorthand and part jest. Do we take her word? Or will we end up in the wood chipper?
Winslow Smith received his BA from Boston University and his MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012. A consistent thread in Smithâ€™s work remains a commitmentâ€”and commentaryâ€”on the art historical traditions of political work, text-based works, and the incorporation of the body. This guy is very charming.
Aliza Stone Howard graduated from Harvard in 2009. A stalwart portrait painter, Howard has a penchant for the attenuated notions of drama and levity in the composition of the film still. As politicians and ardent capitalists here at PG, we have a lot to learn from elegant stagecraft. Cleanly cropped, masked. Facts? Reality? Pishumpff. False French nail tips? Got plenty stowed away in Closet No. 1 Gallery No. 2.