DEAN PROJECT is pleased to present “We Are L.I.C.” an exhibition of paintings curated by artist Yigal Ozeri, whom as both DEAN PROJECT and the seven selected artists is based in Long Island City (L.I.C.) Queens.
All seven artist in this show are in their mid twenties – early thirties and have devoted their artistic practice to figurative narrative painting. The works in this exhibition present two significant markers in the current production of contemporary art; an interest by young artists to create narrative figurative work and a return to focused studio art process and craft.
Although most of these artists have received an MFA from the New York Academy of Art, a school associated with traditional figurative representation, the work by these young artists is far from that traditional canon. While each work in this exhibition is based on figurative narrative representation and has the qualities of traditional painting, these works are a visual dialogue of issues in our current culture.
Using taxidermy animals, technology imagery, and material culture references from our daily life, Bryan Drury builds fascinating narratives of beauty and deterioration. His almost scientific technique of fine and meticulous detail results in a picture of tremendous energy and feeling. Dina Brodsky paintings are created from memory and imaginary landscapes. Brodsky invites the viewer to explore the fine detail of her work captured by the exclusivity of her memory, and therefore to question the nature of representation in her work.
Michelle Doll depicts intimate moments of her daily routine that address ideas of personal identity. The physicality and use of color in her paintings plays with notions of environmental home décor, and idealization of the female image. Rachel Deutch has a strong background in classical portraiture that is evident in her work. These compelling portraits are exactly created and have a fresh quality of such a high intensity that emotionally connects the viewers with her subjects as if these were from a personal source.
Tun Myang’s work deals with the balance of life and the certainty of death. Myang depicts this by creating a silent dialogue between the two dead entities. This interaction creates a mystery that overshadows the simplicity of his paintings. Out of the seven artists in this exhibition Virginia Martinsen and Caitlin Hurd are the two artists whose painting style incorporate conventional traditional figurative representation and modernist art aesthetics. Martinsen’s work, which she creates by a process of throwing and pouring paint on canvas creating a vivid comparison to the blood vessels of the human body. Caitlin Hurd employs painting techniques associated with modern painting and incorporates concealed human imagery to depict her emotional reactions to certain ideals in our society.