[caption id="attachment_563" align="alignright" width="145" caption="by Gregory J. Rose"][/caption]
Chris Heidman and Gregory J. Rose have been art collaborators and friends for more than a decade. This shared time has created a fruitful exchange of ideas and techniques. The commonalities in their work is apparent. The two artists speak the same visual language, but with distinctly different dialects.
Heidman and Rose's two person exhibition Between The Lines opened at Rogue Buddha Gallery last Friday.
At first glance, Heidman and Rose's work may appear to be completely nonrepresentational, but after spending some time with their paintings, visual cues nudge the images back into the physical world. Kind of.
[caption id="attachment_567" align="alignleft" width="290" caption="Sad Panda. Chris Heidman"][/caption]
Chris Heidman's work is a product of his own very personal mythology. He uses shapes and figures that have been reoccurring in his work since his drawings as a kid. Heidman compares these “characters” to family members who he keeps around to tell their stories. The figures he uses are sparse and appropriately juvenile (Sad Panda is a good example). They add a Jr. High-like energy to his otherwise serious and formal work. Don't get me wrong, this is one of the few times Jr. High is used as a compliment. It's Heidman's playfulness and sense of humor that keeps his work exciting.
[caption id="attachment_571" align="alignright" width="275" caption="by Chris Heidman"][/caption]
Heidman's color choices reinforce this playfulness. The artist is strongly influenced by the vividness of print advertising and bright anime in his use of color. The chromatic effects he uses root Heidman's work deeply into a Dippin' Dots universe.
To my surprise, no collage is used here. It's all acrylic paint, Pencil and ink on board. All of his patterns are hand painted.
[caption id="attachment_573" align="alignleft" width="260" caption="by Gregory J. Rose"][/caption]
Gregory J. Rose's drawings and paintings read like snapshots of moments that quickly pass. But these pictures take place in an emotional rather than physical reality. His work is heavily inspired by urban life and graffiti. This can be seen in his use of active line and layering of images. Rose balances this with the formalities of Modern painting.
While Rose's brushstrokes are always active, It's hard not to feel that the activity has paused in these pictures. And the pauses seem to be at an uncomfortable moments. It's like catching a quick peek through someone's window and seeing something that you can't quite make out... but you probably have no business looking at. The small scale of many of these pieces brings you in close, creating a heightened sense of intimacy.
Chris Heidman and Gregory J. Rose are a head above the rest. (Or two heads). Both artists' express something that is deeply personal to the point that it engages on a universal level. The work in Between The Lines is energetic but delicate; it feels complete without being labored. It is poetic and narrative, telling a story that you can't quite put your finger on.
The images I've included here don't do the work justice. Venture out to Rogue Buddha and experience this work face to face.
- John Megas
Between the Lines
On View: Friday, January 7, 2011 through Saturday, February 5, 2011
Where: Rogue Buddha Gallery
Address: 357 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis