Real Fine Arts is pleased announce our second solo exhibition with Tyler Dobson. He will present a group of paintings based on cartoons culled from The New Yorker.
He flew to Nantucket on a Saturday around 12 pm. A day and a half in a cedar shingled mise-en-scène. An alarming sense of visual control lent a theme park like quality. The composition reflected historical vernaculars, as well as an illuminating specificity of place and culture. Nantucket Red, Vera Bradley, Scrimshaw. The crisp air and seersucker yielded a nostalgia that caused him to reflect upon a situation of his own imagining. Old farmhouse by the ocean, late model BMW, sail boat, golden retriever. Leisure time. J. Crew. L.L. Bean, Ralph Lauren, Freeport, Burberry, Bar Harbor. The New Yorker. Fairfield Porter. Maureen Gallace. Alex Katz.
A couple of years before, he got lost on an island in Maine where his family has a home. He had been collecting driftwood for some undecided application. The wood, weathered by the ebb and flow, was like an allegory of progress. A symbol for the condition of objects? Relics abraded by time yet somehow primed for renewal. Here, he implicated his own involvement with the material, wondering where he would be without cues from the past. Also, he felt some cynicism towards the notion of newness. The driftwood was like a testament beating him over the head, provoking his reflections.
Hours passed. He had walked so far along the rugged shoreline that it was no longer possible to turn back. The day began to wane. Thirst and exposure lent a keen sense of struggle. How could this object lesson be in vain? As night began to fall, he finally recognized a fragrant stretch of thicket, which lined the airstrip. A sigh of relief signaled the end of his journey. He had almost traversed the entire coast of the island. Arriving back at the house, he found that all the men had gone looking for him in their boats. His mother was frantic. He had missed a lobster dinner. They thought he might be history, like the driftwood.
Later, eating the leftover shellfish [sweet, tender, delicate, decadent], it dawned on him the pleasures life sometimes afforded. He considered the lobster for a moment, having remembered a historical anecdote: Lobster was once a food for the lower classes and indentured servants in maritime provinces of North America. This changed when the transportation industry and fishing practices were enhanced by technological advancements. Delivery to urban centers provided its new-found luxury status, and positioned coastal regions as centers of tourism. Much like the driftwood, it seemed the lobster had gone through it’s own peculiar sea change.
He realized that the measures taken to change the situation of the lobster were much like his desire to place some kind of symbolic capital upon the driftwood, to somehow recast its potential. It was a bewildering thought that the lobster would experience such an extreme transformation, not because it’s appearance or taste had changed, but because certain parties had conspired bring it to market.
All of these connections began to overwhelm him. There was nothing he could do but continue his vacation.