NYC Exhibits. Aaron Fowler x Michael Shultis. Thierry Goldberg Gallery. September 8 – October 6, 2013. Opening Sunday, September 8, 6-8
Thierry Goldberg Gallery is pleased to announce the first New York exhibition of Aaron Fowler and Michael Shultis, a two-person show with a group of new paintings by each artist and a series made in collaboration between the two.
Using a vast array of collaged materials on wood panels, Aaron Fowler presents a series of pirate paintings that is loosely based on his experience growing up in St. Louis, MO. In “Untitled, 2013 (Fight),” for instance, he assembled materials like house paint, counter top laminate sheets, and aluminum foil, to depict a sword fight scene between two pirates following a true story from his childhood, in which his mother stabbed his stepfather. The way that the fictional drama of the painting transgresses into the real (and vise versa) is replicated in his other works. In “Untitled, 2013 (Sword)” the story literally trespasses into the viewer’s world, where an actual sword has been stuck into the panel, as if tempting the viewer to take it in hand and join the fight being conve yed in the painting.
Equally dramatic and vibrant are Michael Shultis’ series of pillow fight scenes. The mixed media panels are comprised of materials as diverse as oil paint, plastic flowers, gloss photographs, bathroom rugs, vinyl, holograms, and shopping bags, as well as theartist’s own dirty socks, hair and feathers from pillows he owns. In “Gee Wiz,” six female figures engage in a pillow fight amidst a vivid blue background painted with cartoony clouds and a smiley-face sun. All six figures seem to be involved in a kind of game – one tinged by violent undertones (one woman’s mouth and nose is covered in blood) as well as sexual ones (with midriffs and cleavage apparent). Similarly, in “Kool Beans,” the body once more appears to be held hostage by fabric and surfaces, where familiar cultural signifiers like Lacoste tags and barbwire tattoos abound. Viewers find themselves standing before a kaleidoscope of bright pink limbs, distorted appearances, and elaborate patterns.
Lastly, a collaborative work by Shultis and Fowler is on display. “Aliens and Dinosaurs,” is comprised of multiple panels made by each artist, which, once completed, have been sequentially interchanged, creating an image full of interruptions. While Fowler’s panels solely use dinosaurs as a motif, Shultis’ depict aliens. In the work as a whole, viewers are confronted with images of black, grey and blue dinosaur-human hybrids in front of cloudy skies, spliced with panels illustrating chartreuse and emerald alien-human hybrids, and spray-painted text that is disrupted by the sequencing. The image as a whole becomes a collage of melted VHS tapes, fabric, leather, animal skins, polyfil, oil paint, acrylic paint, melted trash bags, and printed photographs, among other things. With the process of collaboration having obstructed each artist’s particular intent, the singular images are transformed into a whole that is visually pure play.
AARON FOWLER, b. 1988 in St. Louis, Missouri, currently lives and works in New Haven, CT. He received his BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA. His work has been exhibited at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York; Family Business Gallery, New York; and SophiaWanamaker Gallery of Centro, San Jose, Costa Rica.
MICHAEL SHULTIS, b. 1987 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, currently lives in Philadelphia, PA. He holds a BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts,Philadelphia, PA. Past exhibitions include Non Fiction Gallery, Savannah, GA; Inliquid, Philadelphia, PA; Little Berlin, Philadelphia, PA; and Open Mind Space, Albuquerque, NM.
Thierry Goldberg Gallery
103 Norfolk Street
New York, NY 10002