In today’s visual culture, context has become all but lost. As images stream in and out of our news feeds, mobile apps, and internet searches, we are granted access to an unprecedented array of content divorced from its context or origin. Individual images become malleable and interchangeable within this visual framework, stripped of identity by the homogenizing effect of technology. Casey Gray and Clark Goolsby are interested in how people process this visual cacophony. For this exhibition, the artists apply simple systems to their respective practices in an attempt to organize, sort through and make sense of this new visual landscape.
While the artists share a conceptual foundation between their work, their approaches to image making could not be more contrasted. Gray’s work is characterized by his commitment to aerosol paints and hand cut masking techniques, resulting in a type of skewed hyper-realism. Through pairing and separating specific objects and images, narratives can be told, identities can be formed and truths can be revealed. Subject matter is sourced and distributed into the works based on formal qualities as well as associations to past experience, memory and visions for the future. Final paintings emerge in the form of densely populated curiosity cabinets, trompe l’oeil bulletin boards and wild, colorful still life works.
Goolsby’s highly geometric works walk the line between painting and collage. Individual sheets of paper are hand worked with a variety of media, and then collaged into his final paintings. His work is an observation on our current era of free image circulation. By using a variety of disparate elements without context, he creates a chaotic world of brightly colored shapes and patterns engaged in a delicate balancing act. The end result is something of a visual paradox as each piece adds stress to a fragile web that’s tenuously held together and always on the verge of breaking apart. Both artists share a commitment to precision craftsmanship and unique, process based practices that put their work at the forefront of contemporary painting conversations.