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Perfect Strangers Daily Operation

696 Fifth Avenue
696 5th Ave. , Apt. 1 (btw 21st and 22nd), 718.930.8239
Brooklyn Misc.
March 22 - March 30, 2008
Reception: Saturday, March 22, 6 - 9 PM
Web Site

By appointment through March 30, 2008

Patrick Brennan, Gianna Commito, Jaime Gecker, Jesse Hamerman, Jasmine Justice, Aaron Steffes, Mark Stockton, J.D. Walsh

Curated by Jon Lutz

Perfect Strangers Daily Operation brings together eight artists for a special one-week exhibition. Representing a variety of current practices, these artists are comfortable being conflicted, ambiguous, and unrestricted. Rather than being didactic, each work operates as a kind of visual non sequitur where convention is borrowed and then displaced.

Patrick Brennan and Jasmine Justice each sustain a nonchalant approach to painting, but this approach reveals itself differently. Through layering, Brennan pits the decorative and crafty against the sensual and utterly esthetic. In Justice’s paintings, there is an initial appearance of completeness, which unravels slowly to uncover a playful and open-ended experimentation. While unrelated in process, Gianna Commito and Jesse Hamerman each work with an antiformulaic space. In Commito’s watercolors, a lyrical, soft-edge geometry intersects with meticulousness for perspectival, formal, and literal vagueness. Similarly vigorous, Hamerman reduces the signatures of public personas to sculpted, abstract line drawings, masking any referential content.

J.D. Walsh and Jaime Gecker carefully construct their arrangements of borrowed material, but they depart in their chosen subjects and manner of execution. Walsh uses a self-invented computer program that randomly generates text and images and projects them in rhythmic patterns onto wall constructions. Gecker photographs, dissects, and reconfigures film stills into paintings with miniaturized, conflated scenes with hazy narratives. Aaron Steffes and Mark Stockton address the awkward nature of celebrity. Steffes envisions popular fiction writers transplanted from their book jackets into cramped apartments and surrounded by strange plants. Taken from sources like film stills and press photos, Stockton’s intimate and detailed portraits of well-known personalities simultaneously mimic, mock, and revere their subjects.
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