This body of work used computer cut vinyl on plexiglass to portray graphically bold portraits of friends at play. The images in The Indulgencies derived from unposed and candid snapshots depicting scenes of revelry, camaraderie and goofing for the camera. Through these images we are given an opportunity to unabashedly stare at others, see ourselves and reflect on what it means to be a social human.
I was drawn to computer cut vinyl – a medium typically used by the signmaking industry – because of its ability to precisely mimic quick, loose and unrefined ink drawings. The medium offers a limited palette of rich colors and novel surfaces such as gold, chrome and glitter that are used in unorthodox and experimental ways. Paired with flat, sumptuous and unadorned backgrounds, these images focus a crisp lens exclusively on the action and gesture.
The exhibition was broken into discrete bodies of work including the Photographers, Girlfriends, the Indulgencies, Sleepers and finally the Dinner Party. The Photographers presents our public selves acting out, mugging for the camera and at the same time editing our own action, knowing that most everything we do these days is for public consumption. Girlfriends portrays camaraderie, love and compassion among peers. The Indulgencies witnesses our uninhibited selves doing what we do best – laughing, drinking and gallivanting. With the Sleepers, we are portrayed as alone, vulnerable and at peace. Finally, The Dinner Party finds us as part of a larger community breaking bread together.
These images have been described as depicting “the edge of banality,” a phrase that the artist has chosen to embrace. If banality is to be understood as commonplace, then these image indeed express what is common and typical among most people – the pursuit of happiness, a yearning for freedom and the desire to be social.
This exhibition was presented at the James Oliver Gallery in November 2012.