Tria Gallery presents a two-person exhibition by daniel Biltzer and Casey Vogt, Background Noise.
The 20th and 21st centuries have been marked by technological advancement. As we have immersed ourselves in our brave new world, one wonders, have we changed as much as the world around us? What impact has all of this had on us? We have learned to live with technology and its subsequent noise; it surrounds us; it is ever-present. Sometimes we tolerate it, sometimes we ignore it; sometimes we are frustrated by it, and sometimes we even enjoy it. But it is there; an undeniable backdrop of modern day existence.
Casey Vogt and daniel Baltzer have found their own ways to express their feelings about this modern day phenomenon. Both have been affected by the fast-moving pace of today’s world, and both have featured this ‘background noise’ in very prominent ways in their work; their backgrounds become an inextricable part of their foregrounds and of the overall works. Indeed, for these artists, the background noise almost seems to be the point.
Both Vogt’s and Baltzer’s work is thought-provoking and visually powerful. Both have been able build on a strong conceptual basis and create a strong aesthetic presence. While their media and styles vary, both of their bodies of work are detailed and layered, and there is an opportunity to interact with their pieces on a variety of different levels. Because of their multi-dimensionality, one can have different viewing experiences each time one sees the work. This, and the fact that we have all lived through these rapid technological changes together, is where the power of their works resonates.
daniel Baltzer is intrigued by the evolution of human relationships and social networks as they relate to communication and information technologies. He is fascinated with layered imagery, both flat and dimensional, as well as the human figure, which drives the creation of his collage-like oil paintings. He states:
Technology has found its way into the fabric of our relationships. Its development and maintenance has become, in part, based on modern innovations. The evolution of relationship and networking using communication technology is explored in my work … a series of paintings about technology that has the potential to weave people, ideas and culture into a single dynamic fabric. To participate in this process involves taking risks, as children do when they play. Children use play earnestly as an opportunity to explore and connect, creating the framework by which they learn and make more complex decisions, while staying adaptive. Communication through play is a basic element to understanding the world and the link we have to society through the networks have formed.
Baltzer has showed in solo and group exhibits throughout the Northeast. His work was featured on NBC’s Today Show in September 2010 and on The Rachel Ray Show in April 2009. Baltzer lives and works in East Harlem in New York City.
Casey Vogt explains that he creates “ornate, mandala-like compositions that serve as a backdrop for politically charged figurative scenes”. His most recent paintings, featured here in Background Noise, “explore Americans’ relationship to drug use, the war on drugs, and the pharmaceutical industry” – another relatively recent backdrop in the human experience. Vogt’s slick, psychotropic, resin-covered renderings are not only painted, but also incorporate actual objects. The meticulous painting-collage hybrids are assembled into a kaleidoscope of patterns.
The backgrounds are composed of masses of layered dots of house paint in myriad colors, recalling a pharmacopoeia of pills. They act as a painterly and metaphysical contrast to the socio-political narratives presented by the figures. With their euphoric colors and psychedelic compositions, my work proposes paintings as another mind-altering substance.
Vogt grew up in Colorado, and spent seven “glorious” years existing solely as a snowboard bum. He later studied at the University of Akron in Ohio, where he fell in love with art. He recently received his Master’s degree from Miami University, and currently resides in Akron, Ohio with his fiancée and their two dogs, Trotsky and Chomsky.