You are invited to the opening party for Whitehot Magazine publisher Noah Becker's solo show of his paintings.
Noah Becker: « Recent Paintings »
Back Gallery, Vancouver
opens: Thursday, April 10, 6-9pm
through April 24, 2008
The Back Gallery Project is pleased to present a solo exhibition of recent paintings and drawings by Victoria based artist and Whitehot Magazine publisher Noah Becker.
Drawing upon a diverse group of references—Bruegel, Bosch, Fredrick Varley and Victorian era cartoons, just to name a few—Becker's works challenge the viewer to consume vast amounts of visual information in images saturated with a complex iconography that treat pressing issues like war, cultural, and social decay in a carnivalesque manner. According to the artist, "When ideas drawn from medieval folklore are used in a contemporary context, interesting things can occur."
In all of his works, Becker has abdicated the background so that the landscape and the figures that inhabit it are left floating in an ambiguous and empty space. Like Bruegel who privileged the depiction of the quotidian over historical themes that had traditionally defined the genre of landscape painting, Becker utilizes seemingly banal scenarios to show how history invades the everyday and is present at every level of society. For example Bloodsport (2006) shows a group of hunter redneck types proudly displaying their kills against a lush landscape strewn with empty bud light cans and junkfood wrappers (a clear reference to U.S. warmongering) while Homeless Realm depicts a diverse set of characters ranging from an out of work clown to a down and out computer geek to the homeless 'recycler', a profession not typically recognized in developed countries but which plays a significant role in informal economies.
Becker's works are reminiscent of those slightly perverse children's books that provide some of the most cutting critiques of social norms and political structures within a colourful and playful visual aesthetic that quickly draws the viewer in only to abruptly undermine any sort of facile visual experience with the severity and density of their content. They are images that are at once seductive and yet jarring.