Observed-James Rieck, Marjorie Strider + Greg Miller

Joanne Artman Gallery
Dec 31, 2017 5:40PM

The idea of “gaze”, or the act of seeing or being seen, is something that has concerned philosophers, sociologists as well as psychoanalysts for some time. Famously, the French existentialist, writer and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the first to address this concept in his  Being and Nothingness , where he proposed that individuals can only gain self-awareness (as well as self-objectification) when confronted by the gaze of another.This observation has served as a basis for many other additions in critical theory such as the feminist concept of the “male gaze” in film and the visual arts. In contemporary art, this translates to the use of the gaze as a vehicle of communication, either by directly conveying assumptions about the world, or through inherent social implications. Artists James Rieck, Marjorie Strider, and Greg Miller each address this idea. Though the artists are connected through their affiliation to the genre of contemporary Pop art, their handling of the concept ranges from inward and implicit, to much more direct.

James Rieck
Free and Easy
Joanne Artman Gallery

In  Free and Easy, James Rieck utilizes a tightly cropped composition that offers an intriguingly limited amount of information. A snowy winter wonderland and a sky filled with northern lights is curiously juxtaposed by a female figure in a light summer dress, looking off to one side as though someone is standing just behind the viewer. Rieck’s photorealistic style and a light, bright palette add to the work’s lush beauty. Though the figure is turned towards us, we are left in mystery to the object of her gaze - she is passive, and we are undeterred to a voyeuristic viewing.

Marjorie Strider
Bond Girl
Joanne Artman Gallery

Marjorie Strider’s  Bond Girl  echoes Rieck’s cropped composition, but is far less passive. The work is a powerful, sexy, and intelligent wink at the objectification of women in film, especially the memorable and iconic quintessential bombshell that exists in every James Bond movie. Here, Strider subverts the narrative by presenting the scantily clad figure straight on, and by leaving out the head, or, essentially her identity, she comments on one of the truest  clichés   of the “male gaze” in film.

Greg Miller
Great Western
Joanne Artman Gallery

In the work of Greg Miller, the concept of observation and gaze is elevated through his specific lens of appropriated visual, as well as textual information and imagery, echoing the look and feel of vintage print ads, comic books, and other print ephemera. Like Strider, Miller creates new narratives by building on the history of pop culture and media appropriation. Through juxtapositions of image and text, the inherent socio-cultural, as well as socio-political contexts are revealed.

Greg Miller, Marjory Strider and James Rieck are represented at JoAnne Artman Gallery || 326 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach CA 92651
 || 511 A West 22nd St. New York NY 10011

Joanne Artman Gallery