NOESIS: MISAPPROPRIATION Posted on March 1, 2012 by ALEXIS AVEDISIAN Email
mis·ap·pro·pri·ate: (verb) dishonestly or unfairly take for one’s own use
It’s 2012, and we live in a world where .gif’s of @greggutfeld are posted 40 consecutive times on endless scrolling blogs. The concept of taking an image, changing it, and commanding it’s newfound authenticity is definitely not new; it’s something that has become an almost required aspect of living in this hyper visual culture. Our eyes have grown used to it, and our minds have evolved to bridge all gaps between source and re-construction.
For painters (.gif’s aside entirely), the re-use, or appropriation of ‘iconic’ images has been a bit more of a battle. I mean, we all remember when Shepard Fairey was arrested outside of his exhibition at the ICA. And that wasn’t the first time.
Lot F Gallery, an alternative space in the Financial District, well known for showcasing Boston’s most evocative urban aestheticians, is analyzing this issue throughout March. Scott Chasse and Thomas Buildmore, the artists to be on display come Friday, have been working within the theme of appropriation since the beginnings of their careers. Chasse, a noted fan-boy of Burt Reynolds, creates panel paintings of the actor, in various poses, atop technicolored backgrounds. With a little more of an unapologetic edge, Buildmore re-positions celebrities (like the Mickey Mouse seen above) and covers them with flashy, pop images like stars, rays, diamonds and shamrocks.
Whether or not these works violate fair-use is really up to you, but these artists are just fine making them. In addition to their thoughts on appropriation, Buildmore and Chasse have gained notoriety by curating and hosting work in the Paint it Now series. With roots in Boston’s Distillery Gallery, Paint it Now has grown to become a survey of contemporary urban painting, finding home also in Brooklyn and soon Philadelphia, and with no shortage of pop culture imagery.
To quote Misappropriation curators Kate Ostreicher and James Wormser:
“Missapropriaton invites the viewer to consider whether or not employment of pre-fab mainstream imagery is right, wrong, or somewhere in between.”
And, when Jesus comes back and obviously poses for Annie Leibovitz, I really hope a painter gets to it first, if only to make sure this never happens again. Until then, heres a quick preview of what’s in store at Lot F:
Thomas Buildmore MISAPPROPRIATION WITH WORK BY SCOTT CHASSE AND THOMAS BUILDMORE
FRI 3.2.12 LOT F GALLERY 145 PEARL STREET #4 BOSTON 7pm/ALL AGES/FREE @LOTFGALLERY LOTFGALLERY.COM