Jason Patrick Voegele Interview with Artefuse.Com

Jason Patrick Voegele

Co-Founder / Director of The Lodge Gallery and Founder / Co-Director Republic Worldwide

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(L-R) Jason Patrick Voegele & Keith Schweitzer

Visit the Artefuse link here - The Interview

By Jamie Martinez

Can you tell us about your background and how you ended up at The Lodge Gallery?

I’m an American citizen but I grew up in South East Asia. Hong Kong and then Taiwan and Singapore respectively. In 1991 I graduated from Taipei American School and came to New York to become the next big thing like everyone else. I went to college at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. I studied painting and then returned to Pratt shortly thereafter to get my masters degree in studio art and art history. In between those years I lost myself studying comparative religions and mythology. That is still my primary passion.

After grad school I went to work in SoHo and Chelsea for some of the coolest galleries I knew that would employ me. I worked up front in sales and behind the scenes as a registrar and preparator for about ten years. Eventually I left all that and started my first gallery in Brooklyn, and then started Republic Worldwide in 2009. Republic did a lot of things and was staffed by the coolest smartest kids I could find. We had a curatorial division, a service/art handling division and a community/charity division that donated time and creative resources to various charities around NYC. We did some amazing work and some amazing shows and then the original team disbanded in early 2011 right around the time I met Keith Schweitzer. Keith had been up to a similar game out in the city when we met. He had founded two of his own curatorial projects and was out there hustling with the best of them. He was the first person I had worked with in New York that could see the future that I saw in a like-minded way. A mutual friend put us in touch and after our first project working together we pretty much became inseparable. We fused all of our work and our vision together under the banner of Republic and around January of 2013, after a long hard stretch of exhibitions in NYC and Miami we seized the opportunity to take over a space on the Lower East Side. It became our permanent venue shortly thereafter. The space became The Lodge of the Republic or The Lodge Gallery. Today The Lodge is the heart of everything we do.

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You have a passion for working and giving back to the community. Why is working with the community so important to you?

I have always believed that we enrich our own lives by helping to enrich the lives of others. That’s been part of our mission at Republic and The Lodge from the start.

When I was a kid my mother’s father was the Secretary of Labor for the state of Idaho, my father’s father was a decorated Major in the Army Corps of Engineers and my father, who also grew up as an expatriate American in Europe and The Middle East, worked his whole life to better the reputation of Americans abroad. They all believed that if you want a better America you have to step up and become a better American. I suppose in my own small art world way I’ve been trying to do that.

Especially here in New York the art world can become so insular. I like working with artists and finding projects that engage new audiences to help develop relationships between communities that would not otherwise have interacted. There are a lot of ways to do that and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a great many talented and selfless people who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place. It’s a hugely rewarding and educational experience every time I have the chance to engage with a new cause or visionary community organization.

That’s really great Jason. The world needs more people like you. Can you talk about the current show at The Lodge Gallery NO CITY IS AN ISLAND?

Sure, in February we were approached by Christy Rupp who is an original member of the art collective Colab. We had exhibited Christie’s work in the past so she was familiar with the gallery and Keith and I were aware of Colab and their influence on the Lower East Side so everyone was excited to put this project together.  The Colab Collective is probably best known for their revolutionary 1980 exhibition “The Real Estate Show” which was organized in response to the grim economic conditions facing tenants of what was then, although culturally thriving, a nearly bankrupt, violent and desperate New York City. The show was confrontational, installed in a space that was occupied illegally and really galvanized the artist community, the press and city officials who shut the show down.

We reached out to as many of the original artists from that exhibition as we could and offered them the opportunity to submit work in response to the project title “NO CITY IS AN ISLAND”. The response turned out to be phenomenal and perhaps with the exception of only two or three artists, most of the work in the show ended up ranging from the late 80′s to the early 90′s.

“NO CITY IS AN ISLAND” revisits the zeitgeist of a New York City that is all but a memory now. It compares and contrasts the artists and urban realities of a New York that was struggling through a period of intense transformation. One of the most interesting aspects of this project has been getting to know these artists and to watch them reunite with the same love of New York and passion for their work and at a time when the subject of intense urban transformation could not be more relevant.

Another cool thing about the show is that it came together just in time for Lower East Side history month and is part of a multi-venue celebration of Colab and revisitation of “The Real Estate Show” with James Fuentes Gallery, Chuchifritos Gallery and ABC No Rio.

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I went to James Fuentes Gallery for the opening and it was great; a lot of the artists where there. Speaking of real estate, how do you feel about having so many galleries opening up in the Lower East Side?

Yeah, the Fuentes show was awesome. It’s been great to see such an outpouring of support for Lower East Side history and for so many of the artists that early on helped to make this neighborhood legendary.

There has definitely been a huge boom in the number of galleries popping up down here and it has been great for the community. It’s been a long time coming though. I recall in the early 90’s there was a big push to legitimize the art scene down here and I think it fell apart primarily because the gallery visions and business concepts were based on an antiquated models that inhibited creativity and were inevitably unsustainable. The reason I believe it is working now is that the new galleries of the L.E.S., each in their own way, have embraced alternative business models and have begun to wonder if the traditional idea of a gallery can’t be broadened or reimagined to suit a new cultural reality. I also think that artists are getting smarter, more business savvy and more capable of self-marketing. Many of the brightest are interested in engaging with dealers and curators in more creative ways that require flexibility on the part of gallerists that you are just not going to find up on 57th street or within the Chelsea scene. Call it a generational shift. It feels like there is a generational shift going on down here.

What alternative business model does The Lodge Gallery use?

Well Keith and I wear a lot of hats. We do everything from corporate/private art consultation and installation to directing public art programs, marketing and art fair development. That’s all in addition to the gallery and the exhibitions we curate there together. The more we are able to strengthen our network while generating alternative sources of revenue, the freer we are to be experimental with our schedule, our artists and our exhibitions. The idea of trying to meet the bottom line exclusively through art sales alone has been the standard model for decades if not the last hundred years. It’s a slippery slope though because once those rent and electric bills start to roll in it becomes very easy to be tempted into only showing the most sellable work, the most palatable and marketable work. That means artists who are testing limits or pushing experimental boundaries have to take a back seat to the bottom line. We feel like part of our job is to cultivate and facilitate opportunities for artists first. In that spirit we don’t require our artists to sign exclusivity contracts. We don’t represent artists at The Lodge; we represent bodies of work that we consign directly from artists for pre-arranged periods of time.

We also have a uniquely unusual schedule to accommodate a broader audience. Tuesdays through Sunday we have fairy normal daytime gallery hours and then at 8pm we bring in our night staff and stay open until midnight. Our official closing time is 10pm but we are almost always here until midnight. Most people think those hours sound crazy until they find out about the secret behind the west wall of the gallery. Evenings are never boring at The Lodge.

I love your business model, especially the part that you don’t represent artists but bodies of work. What show are you curating next?

Well, by the time this will probably go to print we will be exhibiting the post-industrial urban landscape paintings of Frank Webster in a show titled: Margins. The opening for that is next Friday, May 16th so I hope you come. Very excited for that. It’s funny how sometimes you find out a lot about yourself by looking back at the work you’ve done in the big picture. Sometimes you discover patterns of interest. Frank’s exhibition further explores our interest in urban architecture and if you look back at the last year and a half at the Lodge Gallery it’s pretty obvious that Keith and I are smitten with that subject. But we are interested in a lot of things and the show following that will be a large group exhibition exploring the natural evolution of birds and plants.

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I have to attend an earlier opening in Chelsea that night but after that I am open. What advice can you give artists on how to they should approach a gallery?

Well the first piece of advice I would give any artist is to narrow down the playing field. By that I mean go out there and visit the galleries first. See them all and discover the ones that matter the most to you.  Seek out the galleries or alternative venues that exhibit other artists who share a similar vision to yours. Those are probably the handful of galleries you should be focusing on.

Building a career in the arts is all about building relationships and seizing opportunities. One side of this requires patience and a genuine commitment to your own goals and the shared long term goals of your friends or peers. The other side requires a commitment to your craft and the flexibility to grow and adapt to the challenges of an unpredictable art market.

Also, first impressions are everything so in this tech savvy world you better have great and up to date website. It’s going to be the primary way you promote yourself and the likely way curators and exhibitors are going to first encounter your work. Nine times out of ten when we are considering an unfamiliar artist for exhibition at the gallery they have come recommended from artists or gallerists we have worked with in the past or through due diligence were discovered in the archives of web based artist registries such as BAC.org, White Columns or Perogi among others. The first thing we do in either case is to look at the website.

Most of the Don’ts when approaching a gallery are just common sense. If anything when you have the chance to pitch your work, don’t try to be something you are not. Be realistic but be confident in yourself and be genuine. Nothing means more to someone when you’re trying to build a relationship than that. After that, it’s just a matter of your talent, your style and how hard you are willing to work before you find someone who believes in what you are doing.

Thanks for the great advice. What do you see on the horizon for Jason and The Lodge Gallery?

Well you know everything is always in a state of transformation. I’m excited to see what will become of The Lodge Gallery as we continue to pursue or original mission. As long as Keith and I are free to continue to develop programing that is relevant and engaging and in our own unique voice, and we can keep the gallery a gathering point for the observant and curious to experiment and  debate ideas, you can be certain that it will never be boring. What’s on my horizon? Well if anything my life has never been short of the unexpected or unusual so I can only predict more of my entertaining adventures to follow. Maybe one day soon I’ll get back to Hong Kong for a visit or write a book or something but for now I’m 100% focused on the Lodge and all of the exciting projects we have lined up for the Summer and Fall.  I encourage everyone to come on down to the L.E.S. for a visit to the gallery, I’ll most likely be here ready for a chat about whatever inspires you.

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MATING SEASON June 5 – July 5, 2014

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This Summer The Lodge Gallery celebrates the season of fertility with “Mating Season,” an exhibition of work inspired both by natural history and everyday life. 

Artists include: Lina PuertaJuan FontaniveGeorge BoorujyMaxi CohenLeif SolemMonique MantellBrian Adam DouglasAnita Cruz-EberhardSirikul PattachoteSarah BerezaLiza BéarRyan McLennanHerb Smith, Frank Webster and Tiffany Bozic.

Curated by   Jason Patrick Voegele & Keith Schweitzer

According to our best collective fossil evidence, something astonishing happened during the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous period that transformed life as we know it. About one hundred and fifty to one hundred and thirty million years ago the first flower bloomed and the first birds took flight. The process by which the multitudes of various bird species and flowering plants would come to populate every inhabitable region of the earth is epically slow. We know that almost immediately after the first flower blossomed, the birds of that time, along with other small animals and insects, became enamored with the sweet smells and free lunch. They quickly became the beneficiaries of a symbiotic relationship that continues to this day. This relationship can be roughly defined as a food for sex program, wherein the flowering plant offers the bird a tasty reward in exchange for carrying out the process of transporting reproductive pollen to fertilize plants of the same fruit on the other side of the garden. As in modern times, competition for services drove adaptation and diversification of the species. By the time humans arrived on the scene, flowering plants had flourished to become the dominant vegetation of most terrestrial ecosystems and subspecies of geographically specialized birds had unfolded into countless assortments.

As we make our way through the early stages of the twenty-first century more than half of the world’s human population has come to inhabit a landscape of ever expanding urban sprawl.  As mankind increasingly alters the global landscape, new adaptive shifts have begun to take place, once again forcing the transformation and evolution of indigenous species. Successful city birds often exhibit the most spectacular displays of natural selection with a unique behavioral plasticity. With all the typical urban feasts and hazards to contend with, city birds have developed a fearless equilibrium with their human counterparts. For example, feral pigeons, originally bred from the wild rock dove, find the ledges of buildings to be a suitable substitute for sea cliffs and are abundant in towns and cities throughout much of the modern world.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Benefit

March 27th, 2014 – March 30th, 2014

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 27th, 6-8pm

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BID — LIVE AUCTION on Paddle8: paddle8.com/auctions/danafarber

Artists include: GILF!, Icy & Sot, Joe Iurato, Greg Haberny, EKG, ASVP, Lunar New Year, Alice Mizrachi, OCMC, Sek3, Cern, Gentleman’s Game, Shinji Murakami, Vexta, Fumero, Victor Cox, Dave Tree, Clown Soldier, Queen Andrea, Whisbe, Chris RWK, Boy Kong, Adam Dare, Brian Leo, Ellis Gallagher, Chris Smith, Joe Heaps Nelson, Rachel Meuler, Joseph Meloy. Curated by Johnny Leo

The Lodge Gallery proudly hosts an opening reception and silent auction of over 30 works to benefit Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. In 1990 Dana-Farber became one of the inaugural organizations in the Boston Marathon Official Charity Program. Presented by Johnny Leo Projects, in conjunction with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, many of the works included here consider the tragedy of last year’s Boston Marathon. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Claudia Adams Barr Program, furthering their mission and the continued fight against cancer.

Direct donations can be made through: www.rundfmc.org/2014/cassie

No City Is An Island

April 10th, 2014 – May 11th, 2014

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 10th. 7-9pm

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non-curated by Keith Schweitzer & Jason Patrick Voegele with the following artists:
John AhearnCharlie AhearnJody CulkinJane DicksonStefan EinsPeter FendColeen FitzgibbonBobby GMike GlierBecky HowlandLisa KahaneChristof KohlhoferJusten LaddaJoe LewisAnn MessnerRichard MillerTom OtternessCara PerlmanJudy Rifka,Walter RobinsonChristy RuppTeri SlotkinKiki Smith, Seton Smith

On Dec 31st, 1979, a group of artists in downtown Manhattan mounted a now historic exhibition, “The Real Estate Show,” in response to grim economic conditions facing tenants in New York. It was a confrontational and illegal exhibition, held without permission in a vacant city-owned building, with aggressive political messages that ignited controversy and galvanized city officials, news media and artists alike.

This group, Collaborative Projects Inc (Colab), focused on theme-centered exhibitions with a spirit of openness, experimentation, and minimal curatorial interference. Within this context, “No City is an Island” asked former members of Colab to respond to the exhibition’s title as a theme around which to contribute work. Dialogues were rekindled and themes were revisited or reinterpreted. As each artist has evolved over time, so has the city itself. With a range of works transversing 35 years, “No City is an Island” revisits the zeitgeist of a New York City long bygone, compares and contrasts the artists and urban realities of then with now, and honors one of the most influential art organizations in New York City’s history.

The exhibition is part of a multi-venue celebration of Colab and revisitation of “The Real Estate Show” with “The Real Estate Show, Was Then: 1980″ at James Fuentes Gallery (April 4 – 27), “RESx” at ABC No Rio (April 9 – May 8), “No City Is An Island” at The Lodge Gallery (April 10 – May 11), and “The Real Estate Show, What Next: 2014″ at Cuchifritos Gallery (April 19 – May 18). It is also a component of next month’s inaugural Lower East Side History Month, which will now be observed each May with over 60 Lower East Side organizations currently participating.

The Lodge Gallery, founded by Keith Schweitzer and Jason Patrick Voegele, is located at 131 Chrystie Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. It is the exhibition venue of Republic Worldwide and serves as both an art space and a gathering place for hearty discourse and experimentation

Doug Young : “Trace Evidence”

February 28th, 2014 – March 22nd, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, February 28th, 7-9pm

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Young’s reverse paintings, rendered on the underside of thick glass with automotive paints, are investigations of places and objects that are familiar to us yet feel foreign. The subjects in many of Young’s paintings are iconic rooms and objects associated with bustling activity. The spaces are presented devoid of people and out of context; the empty set of television’s The Price is Right, NASA’s Control Room, and CERN’s Large Hadron Collider are captured in rare moments of inactivity. We are left with an opportunity to examine these rooms and objects closely, to inspect the complex details offered within them, and through this process garner a greater understanding of their purpose and the people, out of frame, who put them to use.

Young also depicts objects of historical or personal significance that are captivating in their graphic qualities, starkly and consciously superficial, attractive yet repelling. Abraham Lincoln’s soiled death pillow is presented alongside portraits of a stained bathtub, an open filthy refrigerator, and a previously frozen TV dinner.

The imagery is evocative of childhood wonder and curiosity, yet haunting and resonant of the out-of-body. Ensconced in monumental, graphite-finished wooden frames, each painting boldly invites our attention. Collectively, all of the works presented in Trace Evidence arouse our sense of mystery and tempt us to conduct our own thorough investigative analysis of the artist’s intention.

Doug Young has exhibited widely in New York and Chicago. He holds a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1995) and an MFA from Pratt Institute (1997). These images mark a departure for Young, for he has worked primarily as a sculptor during the last decade. But in line with his penchant for Americana, his reverse paintings on glass evoke time-honored traditions in the folk arts and old Hollywood. In 2001 he was awarded by the Guinness Book World Records for the longest nonstop banjo performance in history—24 hours total.

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A Human Extension

Reception: Thursday February 6th, 7-9pm

Exhibition: February 6th – February 16th, 2014

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Artists Include: Isaac Arvold, Erik Benson, Julie Elizabeth Brady, Paul Brainard, Monica Cook, Melissa Cooke, Peter Drake, MaDora Frey, Jane LaFarge Hamill, Aaron Johnson, Christian Johnson, Michael Kagan, Karl LaRocca, Francesco Longenecker, Daniel Maidman, Lindsay Mound, Reuben Negron, Javier Piñon, Colette Robbins, Jean-Pierre Roy, Michael Schall, Kristen Schiele, Andrew Smenos, Melanie Vote, Frank Webster, Eric White, Barnaby Whitfield, Mike Womack . Curated by Amy Berger, PR and Arrangement/ Installation by Keith Schweitzer and Jason Patrick Voegele

Inspired by the Designs of Jacqueline Popovic / Jankele

The Lodge Gallery presents an exhibition of new work exploring the relationship between fine art and fashion through a celebration of the accessory. Inspired by the organic and geological accessory designs of Jacqueline Popovic, A Human Extension features twenty-eight artists who have adapted the direct designs, production materials or visual spirit of Popovic’s celebrated Jankele collection into a body of work that investigates the challenging and curious marriage of fashion and art at the dawn of the 21st century.

A Human Extension is an attempt to re-conceptualize the fashion accessory as both sculptural and utilitarian. It is a chance to revisit ideas and philosophies that have long been explored by artists such as Vanessa Beecroft. Alexander McQueen, and Nick Cave who investigated the art/fashion relationship in unique and alternative contexts. Inspired by these ideas and in the context of Jankele’s designs, the artists of A Human Extension are pioneering influential new ideas about the role of fashion in contemporary visual culture.

Artist Julie Elizabeth Brady explains “Fashion is always on my mind when I am coming up with an idea for a painting, but first let me define what ‘fashion’ means to me. Fashion often implies something that is “of the moment” and stylish, but the fashion that captures my attention are pieces that are objects of beauty, new and old, that start a conversation.”

Effectively, all of the artists featured in A Human Extension are developing physical structures that are capable of extending the inner self beyond the confines of the material body. An inspired concept that has driven the philosophy of Jankele’s designs and the central theme around which she has become a muse to this group of artists.

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Levan Mindiashvili : BORDERLINES

January 16th, 2014 – February 4th, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, January 17th, 7-9pm 

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Levan Mindiashvili has been making work about urban landscapes that inform our sense of identity and the intimate connections we make with the spaces we inhabit since 2012. In 2003 he graduated from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (Republic of Georgia) and the same year started intensively exhibiting his works in Europe. From 2008 – 2012 he lived and worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he received his MFA from the National University of Art of Buenos Aires

Mindiashvili’s new series, entitled Borderlines, is a study of his reflections on cities as both public and private meeting points. Originally conceived in Buenos Aires, this recent body of work explores the artist’s personal and collective experiences with the architecture and public structures of New York, where he is currently based. It is through his renderings of reflections amongst monumental objects, combined with a uniquely subjective reinterpretation of urban stimulation/inundation, that he reveals his complex and evolving personal relationship with the city.

Borderlines is an investigation into the sediment of his global experience, the invisible realities that have been burned into his subconscious country by country, city by city, block by block. “Generally, architecture most clearly defines and reveals the changes in our contemporary world, in our approaches and common visions,” says Mindiashvili.

His new work depicts distorted, almost abstract fragments of old architecture reflected on new, transparent surfaces or seen through them. “I perceive them as maps of consciousness of the contemporary world with its migrations, gentrification, identity and social issues,” the artist explains, “I want to trigger a dialogue about recent history.” The idea that a personal history is valuable and that the reflected perception of each individual dictates the overall substance and spirit of the larger urban landscape is deeply rooted in his intentions.

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TOTALLY GAY FOR SPORTS

Curated by Paul Brainard at The Lodge Gallery

December 13th, 2013 – January 12th, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, December 13th, 7-9pm

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Artists Include: Paul Brainard, Chris Caccamise, Peter Daverington, TM Davy, Franklin Evans, Evie Falci, Dawn Frasch, Duncan Hannah, Kurt Kauper, Hyun Jin Alex Park, Jean Pierre Roy, Tom Sanford, Lane Twitchell, Eric White, Barnaby Whitfield, Kelli Williams

Self-actualization is defined as the process by which an individual achieves a more authentic version of oneself; a realization of one’s full potential. Sports, or more specifically, the athlete engaged in a sport, are often seen as a celebration of this process. The Olympian. The champion. The lone long distance runner determined to consistently improve on her performance. Pushing the boundaries of our known human limitations.

This journey of self-discovery is possible if the individual is free to address their personal nature and discover what lies within. We’ve forgotten this. The relatively recent celebritification of athletes, and the mania of modern fan culture, has changed the game.

It is from this perspective that we have arrived at our current position; “Totally Gay for Sports” combines an irreverence for the culture of sports celebrity while wrestling with one of the major issues of our time, equality for all.  -Paul Brainard

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HEROES

October 15th, 2013 through November 1st, 2013

Opening Reception: Tuesday, October 15th, 6-8pm

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The Lodge Gallery is pleased to present “HEROES”, the first group exhibition by Lower East Side artist collective Glassine Box. The show, coinciding with Glassine Box’s 2nd anniversary, features works by Adam GreenArturo VegaChad MooreChristopher YeringtonColin BurnsFabrizio MorettiJack Ridley IIIJack WallsJohnny T YeringtonMarcel CastenmillerMike Langley,Molly RaeSara Anne Jones, and The Virgins.

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John Dunivant : “The Expatriate Parade”

September 25, 2013 through October 12, 2013

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 25, 6-8pm

Artist Talk:  Saturday, October 5 at 2 pm

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Presented by Wasserman Projects (Detroit)

John Dunivant has achieved notoriety throughout the city of Detroit, and internationally, as the mastermind behind Theatre Bizarre. Self-funded and built by dozens of artists over the course of months the Theatre Bizarre would take place for one night each year and featured massive carnival rides, pyrotechnics, elaborate lighting rigs, and Coney Island-esque performers. Theatre Bizarreoperated for ten years before its discovery and subsequent closure by Detroit city authorities in 2010.

The Expatriate Parade features a series of paintings and bronzes inspired by the closure of Theatre Bizarre. Facing an existential crisis, Dunivant chose to embrace the turmoil of the situation, with the resulting works on view in The Expatriate Parade serving as a celebration of his “exile”.

Once upon a time, there was an enchanted amusement park, hidden on the edge of a ragged city. For one night every year, this secret kingdom made itself known and sprang to life with fire and music and dance. – until the day it was exposed – and cast out.

The Expatriate Parade began as a single sketch of a scapegoat with a ferris wheel on its back. It bore my burden as it was driven from its home by an unfeeling and unseen power. This sketch led to many more, and the resulting parade of drawings – with its ceaseless forward motion in spite of the ever changing circumstances of the moment – led me to reflect on my own life. In the face of disintegrating relationships and a riot of personal challenges, I continue on. As we do. Each in our own exile from where we imagined we would be. This piece is a celebration of that exile.

My work grows from a variety of obsessions and fascinations; natural history museums, dioramas, Halloween, souvenir postcards, the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, roadside attractions, reliquaries and religious iconography, traveling carnivals, ghost stories, children’s books, the Grand Guignol, John Singer-Sargent’s work, tribal rituals, folk and fairy tales, paper-toy theaters, secret societies, Dr. Suess, New Orleans funerals, wax museums, medical illustrations, P.T. Barnum and death. I paint the beautiful and the grotesque as a metaphor for both my internal struggles and the general state of mankind.  I paint life as seen through a lens of papier-mâché, poster paint and wax edifice.  I paint the characters that fill my life and my dreams and ultimately, tell my story.

- John Dunivant, 2013

Theatre Bizarre now operates legally at the Detroit Masonic Temple where it will hold its 13th edition on October 19, 2013 and and is the subject of an upcoming documentary. Macabre in their imagery and sitting across numerous pop cultural narratives, the joy Dunivant takes from the subject matter inThe Expatriate Parade is evident, and fitting for an artist working far from the art world capitals in Detroit, facing its own existential crisis, with the attendant anxiety of loss, displacement, and fantasy of an unknown, perhaps better, future.

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