Freight+Volume is pleased to announce Splendour, the debut exhibition of mixed media collages by Natalie Collette Wood. The work in Splendor features keyed up versions of a fantasy life filled with fast cars, wild animals, and Vegas dancers distorted through repetition, physical rupture, and aggressive painting. The works have a transcendental element – feeling both familiar but also beyond physical and spiritual limitations and possibilities. In the artist’s own words, "My paintings are based on real places I have been or imaginary ones. The goal with my work is to convey fanciful spaces, the viewer knows it’s not real but wishes it were, like a mirage or an illusion you could jump into." Inspired by her childhood growing up in Las Vegas and current home in the Bronx, two places that are deeply sentimental to the artist and act as a springboard to create her psychologically charged narratives that reflect the skewed way in which memory and history function. Wood's past and present work exhibits undertones of dystopian visions, suggesting the redemptive power of romance through empowered female bodies, as well as dark looming constructs of memory.
Wood’s new work departs from a series of found photographs of Wood’s mother dancing to “House of the Rising Sun” in 1968 at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The photographs function as a starting point for futuristic universes and psychedelic dreamscapes that are created first through handmade collages and then translated into large-scale mix media collages. Wood’s work creates haunting spaces by placing the figure into lush interiors that dance in and out of the landscape to create disorientating and fragmented environments. Inspired by the natural world, magic, and extra-sensory perception the work is rooted in a dialogue between alternate realities that reorient our understanding of the world around us.
Natalie Collette Wood is a current artist-in-residence at the Andrew Freedman Home. She has exhibited her work in a number of solo and group shows, most recently, Natural Phenomenon, at the Andrew Freedman Home (2018). She received her MFA from Herbert H. Lehman University, and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Solo exhibitions include Futuristic Fossil: Natalie Collette Wood at the Chashama Window Gallery, NY, NY (2015), The Green Yard Project at Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, NY (2015), and Seductive Disaster, Berlin (2009). Wood has been included in exhibitions such as The AIM Biennial: Bronx Calling at The Bronx Museum of Art and Ornamenting Crime at Zürcher Gallery, NY, NY.
A full color limited edition artist book will accompany the exhibition and is available for purchase at the gallery or on our website.