JONATHAN FERRRARA GALLERY is proud to announce circa: now, a solo exhibition of new work by artist duo GENERIC ART SOLUTIONS. circa: now will be on view from December 2 – 31, 2013, opening with an artist’s reception on Saturday, December 7, 6-9pm, in conjunction with PhotoNOLA. This event is an annual celebration of photography in New Orleans, coordinated by the New Orleans Photo Alliance in partnership with museums, galleries and alternative venues citywide.
“Mankind are so much the same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular. Its chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human nature.”
The artists says of the latest suite of work:
Generic Art Solutions loves art history because we see ourselves and our time reflected there, our follies and trials and triumphs, all repeated like two mirrors facing each other.
“Circa: now” is a collection of art works that use the language of art and history to speak about the events and issues of today. It seems history is not actually confined to the past at all. It re-emerges not only in the form of natural and man-made disasters, but in the repeated irrational and irresponsible behavior of mankind. This is why it is so important to reexamine our collective past-it is an illustrative mirror that we may learn from, or suffer the doom of a perpetual tragic encore.
Generic Art Solutions tackles new territory with their homage to Goya's Los Caprichos etching series. Like the Spanish Master, they depict a reckless contemporary power class as they fumble with fiscal responsibility, mockingly ride on the backs of an endangered middle class, and pick over the corpses of the down-and-out and the poor. Generic Art Solutions contends that "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monster" (one of Goya’s titles) is a phrase that still speaks volumes today.
The “Sledgehammer Symphony” features two men in tuxedos literally killing beauty. This video document and installation acts as a commentary on the clamorous society in which we now live: a society where self-respect is traded for attention, and where cuts in funding for the Arts are penance for a failed global economy. These are destructive days in both culture and the environment. We hear this hammer-induced death rattle and see the resonant mess (transferred to the gallery floor) as reminders to protect what is too good to fail.
GENERIC ART SOLUTIONS (G.A.S.) is the collaborative efforts of Matt Vis and Tony Campbell. This New Orleans-based art duo utilizes nearly every art medium as they examine the recurring themes of human drama and the (dis)functions of contemporary society. Always rooted in the performative, they play every character in their work. In their more distilled “duets” we see something of a yin and yang (a balance between individuals that aren’t quite interchangeable), but in their more elaborate stagings the resultant effect is as epic as the subject matter itself. By combining Classical, Romantic, and Baroque compositional elements with contemporary pictorial techniques, they manage to illuminate the common thread that connects past histories with current events. This strategy creates something of a “Déjà Vu effect” that is driven by drama and surreality with traces of levity. In this dialogue between the past and present the viewer realizes several things: 1) that the history of art is inextricably political, 2) that human behavior repeats itself no matter how tragic or brutal, and 3) that this cycle of repetition must be broken so personal and societal progress can be made. Despite all this, their work contains a glimmer of hope--a hope that through thoughtful examination (and armed with a commitment to change) we can indeed forge a better future.
Generic Art Solutions (G.A.S) has exhibited their work in numerous museums, galleries and art fairs. In 2010, the duo mounted a solo exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art entitled Déjà Vu All Over Again. In the autumn of 2013 G.A.S exhibited ten photographs at ZACHĘTA National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland with artists including: Mike Kelly, Janine Antoni, and Paul Pfeiffer. In February 2014, they will be featured in the group show The Beautiful Game curated by Franklin Sirmans (Prospect.3 Biennial Director) at Los Angeles County Museum of Art which will include work by: Ai Weiwei, Vik Muniz, Andy Warhol, Andreas Gursky, Kehinde Wiley, and Mark Bradford among many others.
Their work is in several notable collections including: New Britain Museum of American Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, noted curator Dan Cameron and Thomas Coleman.
Generic Art Solutions is based in New Orleans, LA and is represented by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery.