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Floating from Colombia, Texas, and now Chicago, Juan creates their own mythologies from narratives they encountered in these places - from cowboys in popular culture to the jungle that remains fond in their childhood memory. When placed in an alien setting like the jungle, cowboys no longer have the macho, confident air but look like tragic heroes and the clash between soccer players become more erotic than violent.
Michelle Selwa is an artist and Brooklyn native currently based in New York City. Her work explores the ways technology affects our relationship with images and memory, and the anxiety of archiving images from rapidly degrading mediums.
Many people confess to a feeling of awe at seeing remnants of old civilizations. But oh wait, Anna's paintings in neon and pastel wash don't just focus on the time that landmarks endured, but the original fantasy they must have inspired. Namely, these sculptures submerge into the ground as if they've grown out of it, echoing the Olmec and Aztec beliefs that rocks and other landmarks are already animate. Their gravity doesn't come from the fact that they represent higher spirits, but that they are converging points for human and nature - and for painting, representation and our "reading into" it?
In a world that creates shiny new things just so they can go obsolete, Jen discovers old, abandoned, or neglected things gone sinister. Throughout works that vary in palette from rainbow neons to worn out neutrals, from panoramic scenes of lake gatherings to close-ups of fences, there shouldn't be anything outwardly unsettling. If anything, Jen's use of fine lines and matter-of-fact realism inspired by photography should make these objects familiar. But the unsettling effect arises from finally facing these usually unseen, even deprecated, things - we had forgotten them so profoundly that there is no way to make sense of them.
If pop art means anything to you, it’s like Ellanah absorbed the deluge of cartoons, graffiti, neon glitches on analog TVs, and movie characters - in a word, childhood in the 90’s - in a batter of cake that’s her own flavor. She’s not just a consumer though. Whether in circular canvas or a frame of botanical patterns, Ellanah constantly interrupts the coherence of mass media narratives by rearranging their elements.
Seeing Lauren's large unstretched canvas as it hangs in the golden hour light is a poetic experience. As she brings out the canvases one by one and unrolls them, you can tell that she has a story to tell for each and every one. Then the shadows and ripples of the canvas blends in with the scribbles and stains of watercolor, the intensity of golden hour blurring outlines of objects. Also notice how she leaves graphite sketches underneath the paint. They are residues of time, the same way Lauren's paintings are footprints of memories and impressions.
A video and book artist-turned-painter, Troy still hasn't lost the wonder of new materials like toys, molding paste, and most recently flower-patterned plastic bags. Rather than playing fixed roles in a prefabricated play, his works together explore a constellation of loosely related sentiments like serious absurdity, the ineffable scale of cosmic time, surveyor marks, and rat traps around New York. These moments when existential issues suddenly intrude into everyday life or vice versa are most pronounced in the contrast between the digital hot pink he frequents and the scratched, worn out textures like peeled subway ads that accompany it.