It’s amazing that photography has become the undisputed visual gold standard of what looks real to us. The camera produces images that suffer from perspective distortion (look it up), awkward colors and a focal range that is nowhere near what the human eye sees. It is probably the objectivity of something made by a machine that makes photography seem so infallible. But at the same time, this mechanical objectivity also removes the subject from the context and the feeling of the moment. (Not to mention the fact that there is usually a human pushing the button).
Making Progress, the art of Andy Ducett and Kristina Mooney currently on view at the Fox Tax Gallery uses photographs enhanced with hand drawn images and hand drawn images enhanced by photographs to blur the line between personal and objective realities. Here solid material photographic “truth” mixes with daydreams showing secret and personal realities.
[caption id="attachment_958" align="aligncenter" width="521" caption="Dance Party. Andy Ducett"][/caption]
Andy Ducett’s work in this show is created from the small white edged photographs that were prominent in the early 1970’s. Most of the images he uses are awkward snapshots of things like childhood dance recitals and picnics… but with images from another reality added. We see cowboys and giant geese inhabiting these nostalgic scenes. They are not photo-shopped in to trick us into thinking that these ridiculous figures are really there, rather, the imaginary elements are drawn in the style of something you might have seen on the back of a cereal box or in the free shopping circular during the Ford administration and then pasted on top . The added characters interact with the scenes creating new and bizarre narratives. The result here feels like the distorted memories from childhood brought into a physical existence.
Kristina Mooney’s work in this show uses photography in a different way. Many of her pieces here just suggest the presence of a photograph, with lines that appear to be traced and scraps of photographs appearing here and there but sometimes without literal context in the image. In these works a dreamlike haze exists from the drawn and collaged pieces of paper. Scraps are swept together to make images that feel like decay, but in a strangely beautiful way.
[caption id="attachment_964" align="aligncenter" width="395" caption="Hallowed be broad daylight. Kristina Mooney"][/caption]
The majority of both artists work is small in scale, increasing the level of intimacy between the art and the viewer. You have to get close and spend some time to rally appreciate it. Many of these pieces feel like dear items that have been lovingly stored at the bottom of a sock drawer for the past 35 years, worn and well loved and saved for special moments to look at.
This show only runs through Dec 10 so be sure to make it down to Fox Tax to check it out. I know many people don’t go into galleries after an opening night but… why? If you are truely interested in art, the party atmosphere of an opening reception is not always the best time to view. So, my suggestion for the future is this. Go to the openings to have fun and meet the artist. Then, come back to the gallery a week or two later to really take in the work.
Regardless... go see this show before it's gone!
On view: November 19th – December 10th, 2011
Tuesday - Friday 11 am - 4 pm
Gallery at Fox Tax
503 FIRST AVE NE