Jacob Lewis Gallery is pleased to present Appropriate Disruption, a group show featuring works by Rina Banerjee, Reza Farkhondeh, How and Nosm, Austin Lee, Erik Parker, Emilio Perez, and Kenny Scharf. The show will be on view from November 21 through December 20, with an opening reception November 20, 6-8 pm.
The show centers on the theme of appropriation, the process of taking an image or experience and recontextualizing it, thereby transforming the original idea. The works in the exhibition initiate a dialogue through their varying modes of alteration. Some artists use clear examples of appropriation, such as Rina Banerjee, who employs culturally loaded textiles and souvenirs as physical elements in her wildly detailed works on paper and surreal sculptures. Similarly, Erik Parker draws on American subculture, melding comic book characters, hip hop, and graffiti with art historical cues to build his unique visual architecture. Kenny Scharf irreverently inserts classic Americana into science-fiction settings with exuberant colors and compositions that provide a subversive edge to the otherwise familiar, comforting characters.
Several artists focus more on the process of appropriation rather than the reuse of physical images. Emilio Perez’s paintings often borrow titles from song lyrics and are influenced by his experience surfing. Waves become hidden forms that emerge and recede from his otherwise abstract, undulating imagery. Austin Lee uses technology as one of his tools of appropriation, creating iPad drawings that are made quickly and embrace mistakes and unintended gestures. These drawings become source imagery for his slower, more deliberate paintings, which explore the dichotomy between the intentional and the incidental.
The process of contextual conversion transforms the original source material into something completely unrecognizable in its final state. How and Nosm, identical twin collaborative street artists, take highly-detailed, realistic renderings and contort, stretch, and layer these images until they are transformed into a surreal experience of shape, color, and dimension. Reza Farkhondeh, by introducing written lines of poetry in his paintings, politicizes an otherwise serene landscape and allows the physical beauty of the language to prompt a discussion of location and identity.