Artist: Lucia Love
Venue: JDJ, Garrison
Exhibition Title: FIREWATER
Date: October 17 – December 19, 2020
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of JDJ, Garrison
Lucia Love’s debut solo exhibition at JDJ brings together seven visually rich paintings loaded with narrative and symbolism, with references to art history, mythology, politics, and the dynamics of power. Like works of speculative fiction, each painting contains a pastiche of fantasy and reality, as elements sourced from news media exist on an equal plane to those of pure imagination.
The paintings are bound by their depictions of contradictory states. The juxtapositions of doom and hope, tragedy and comedy, and destruction and renewal depicted in the works feel uniquely American, and particularly poignant at this distinct moment in our society as we face disaster after disaster and yet we continue to hang on to the possibility for a brighter future.
At the heart of this exhibition are a series of new paintings that incorporate images of fire and water, opposing elements that convey a host of interpretations: from the occult, to the symbolic, to the very real environmental disasters we currently face on both coasts of America. Despite their capabilities for destruction, both fire and water can also function as paths to salvation and regeneration.
The painting Wacky Inflatable Flailing Firearms, 2020 features a wind dancer made from flames, a mascot for our time and place, flailing its fire arms with impunity—and a smile. The suggestion of violence is paired with the goofy nature of our consumerist landscape, where wind dancers can be found in their natural habitat. Love’s technical prowess and her ability to juxtapose several painting styles within one composition are on display, from the convincing realism of the facist-looking, eagle- adorned concrete plinth from which the wind dancer rises to the sleek, two-toned minimalist approach to the background.
In Pig Roast, 2020, a group of business people sit in a circle as if they are at a conference, paying no attention to the towering flames surrounding them. They conduct their meeting in shackles, all the while behaving quite naturally, as though they are accustomed to this state of human bondage. They seem to be summoning a giant pig demon, a symbol of excess. Here again we see the contrasting approaches to painting styles within one picture: the cartoonish two-dimensionality of the grotesque swine and the swirling flames that feel almost topographical in their appearance.
Lucia Love (b. 1988, New York, NY) attended the School of Visual Arts on a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, where she studied painting and animation. She is co-host of the podcast Art and Labor, which chronicles the stories of social justice organizing within the art world and advocates for fair labor practices for artists, museum workers, art handlers, interns, and anyone traditionally overworked and underpaid in the field.
Link: Lucia Love at JDJ