WIELDING NOW showcases a selection of original paintings, collage, sculpture and photography by Tappan artists. While diverse in media and message, these artists powerfully exercise their control over their artistic tools, demanding our interaction with the work and encouraging an intimate participation in each of their moments. Wielding their ‘weapons’ effectively, taking control of their tools to paint, to sculpt, to capture moments - appears almost effortless. Their medium is their language - a mode of communicating effectively, asking the viewer to not only admire the work but to engage and digest them, to really participate in their language.
Jonni Cheatwood’s paintings describe the broad visual ideas stemming from still life, abstraction and minimalism. The graffiti-like scribbles, scratches and primitive colors of Cheatwood’s work is the controlled chaotic work of an erudite, expressionist. “Process is everything for me as a painter. There has always been this game going on in my practice of balancing negative space and structure, which I love. I tend to use differing fabrics that I sew together to allow my paintings take a breath when they need to. I try to include everything I can within a canvas without overwhelming myself, as well as the viewer. For these works, I focused on the interaction with the viewer of the painting, as I want my audience feel involved. For example, when I write something within a canvas, make a mark, use a color, sew, or let my work roll around my studio floor, I'm interacting. I'm trying to convey an honesty by showing you the bones of this painting, as well as my process, and not just what's on the surface.”
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Michael Gittes presents pieces from three respective bodies of work he has been developing over the past several years. Exploring concepts of ephemerality, interaction and temperature, Gittes’ pieces reflect the nascent stages of his previous processes, such as his Syringe Paintings, as well as recent explorations in larger scale paintings. With the viewer and the interactive potential at the core of these pieces, Gittes proposes tensions between his work: an admirable face obscured by the abstracted nature of ejected paint; an isolated glacier so ephemeral in nature, yet so connected that the sky’s color becomes slightly bluer as higher humidity is detected, never returning to its original state. From his newest body of work, a body that truly speaks to those who choose to interact with it, I WILL CROSS OCEANS reveals itself subtlety to the viewer, as the language of the piece is activated by flame.
Alice Lancaster is a painter working in New York City. She is known for her humorous and colorful works, exploring issues of the female body, mind, and sexuality. Lancaster experiments with shape and color, often pushing her figures into complete abstraction and forcing the viewer to search for the figure in a sea of lines.
Exploring vulnerability, sexuality and the power of the camera to edit perception and reality, Emily Knecht often turns the camera on herself for explorations. This body of work is a selection of Knecht’s explorations of the female body, the casual magic of everyday, as well as the American landscape focusing on the separation of place and memory, people and their bodies, the subject and the photographer, and the photographer and the photograph. Knecht practices in Los Angeles.
Jeff Kraus is a painter, printmaker and collaborative artist predominantly known for his large-scale paintings. Exhibiting selections from two developing bodies of work; Kraus’ language is one of traditional symbolism and iconography, realizing minimal collages and ethereal, nearly enigmatic works on panel. His collage series, Adelante, explores our relationship to object, and our ability to delegate new meaning and structure. “The colors and scratches of these intaglio cuttings had a different meaning not long ago. The conditions that first created these marks are already gone; what place can the remnants presently hold? Though removed and replanted, the pieces of each collage are not isolated. The compositions employ order and hierarchy, each a specific, intentional structure and a home for new meaning.” Kraus’ panel series, Spectral, were once expansive, energetically textured panels now confined by darkly painted voids. Quiet colors appear as trios of subtly irregular piers afloat in an undefined space, partially translucent and isolated in dark barren space. The consistent orientation, applied markings and thin bases bring sense of grounding and direction.
Luke Chiswell is a visual artist working in Australia and New York City. Using a variety of mediums and techniques, Chiswell draws on the stark contrast between his environments and his experiences within each of them to explore the intimacy of drawing, designing, sculpture and screen printing. His passion for skateboarding continues to inspire him, and his early life in the Bush has always compelled him to create beauty out of simplicity. It is this ability to create a home within fluidity that makes his work wholly primal and honest whilst also unnervingly complex and enigmatic. “These works explore various degrees of tensions that I’m exploring when I start creating. When in the rite head space, honest marks make sense and the act becomes a dance with the canvas. I’m reasoning when to start - when to stop; making honest marks and gestural ones. I’m interested in extending the piece outside the canvas, then sealing it in with resin.”
Travis Schneider first began shooting video projects for his favorite bands, such as The Hives, Gogol Bordello and Mars Volta took him under their wing, eventually leading to a documentary project with Phantom Planet in 2004. His videography naturally led to photography, further documenting the musicians. Without classical training and with a few vintage cameras in hand, Schneider has refined his craft, capturing honest and intimate moments with his subjects. This is the first time these polaroids have been shared with the public eye; “I shoot Polaroids because they're unpredictable. I never know what they're actually going to look like. In our digital age with TOO much control and ease, losing control and being surprised by the result of an artistic and chemical process feels like Christmas morning to me.” He has been in the studio and on the road with Weezer, Maroon 5, Sara Bareilles, Moby, Katy Perry and more. Fashion projects include Vena Cava, VOGUE and purple DIARY.
A native Californian, Isaac Zoller shoots 35mm photography and has been commissioned by professional surf organizations and fashion campaigns such as a Nike and Surfing Magazine and Hurley International. He is a chief contributor to the artist collective/gang LEAF. “I shot all of these images during my travels throughout California and Mexico earlier this year. I like to capture moments that are timeless in a sense. Something that can be looked at from different generations and still be relevant as beauty or art. I think that landscape photos in general will always be important for this reason. To me the best photos will always stand the test of time. Hopefully mine will.”
Monday – Friday, 10-6pm; Saturday by appointment.