David Leggett & Melissa Steckbauer
@ Western Exhibitions
119 N. Peoria St., Suite 2A
Opening Friday, January 27th, from 5PM - 8PM
On view through Saturday, March 10th
David Leggett’s new mixed-media paintings wrestle with complicated feelings towards his two obsessions, painting and hip-hop, as he confronts race, sexuality, fame and class in humorous and ambiguous situations.
Leggett’s show in Gallery 1 at Western Exhibitions opens on Friday, January 27th, 2012 with a free public reception from 5 to 8pm and will run through March 10, 2012. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm and by appointment.
David Leggett’s ultra-vivid canvases mash-up a love-hate fascination with both machismo in hip-hop culture and the unyielding influence of 1980s German painters in current contemporary painting. No one is sacred in Leggett’s work – from Precious to Rick Ross to Gerhard Richter to the artist himself – his satirical images are often punctuated by barbed comedic one-liners, a strategy influenced by the stand-up comedians he listens to in the studio. Leggett his manipulation of cartoon imagery and caricature reveals the influence of Chicago Imagists like Karl Wirsum and Jim Nutt. His use of craft materials, however, complicates his relationship to painting as googly eyes, rhinestones, pom-poms, felt, glitter, gold and silver leaf add a layer of absurdity to Leggett’s reverence for his painting heroes. In the past year, Leggett’s studio suffered a devastating flood, destroying some 50 finished paintings. States Leggett: “When I saw all my paintings damaged from the leak I couldn’t help but notice how small the paintings were. I felt I wasn’t challenging myself. It felt like what I was doing wasn’t important.” This show, post-flood, will feature Leggett’s largest canvases to date.
Melissa Steckbauer’s new photo-based collages are the visual remainder following a personal study in communication and intimate contact, a deviation from the overt sexuality seen in her paintings. Weaved, fringed, puckered, and diced Steckbauer diffuses the status and familiarity of her pictures by manipulating them with naive decoration. Pictures become images and objects; they leave the scope of family albums and are updated within a loose semiotics.
Steckbauer’s show in Gallery 2 at Western Exhibitions opens on Friday, January 27th, 2012 with a free public reception from 5 to 8pm and will run through March 10, 2012. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm and by appointment.
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