Like the Spice is proud to present Elder Kinder, the first solo show of Jason Bard Yarmosky. In a quest to portray parallel naivety among old and young, Elder Kinder exhibits large scale oil paintings and graphite drawings which combine the ambitions of yesteryear with the consequences of age.
There are moments in life’s relentless current where invincibility and vulnerability reside upon opposite sides of a briskly flipping moment. Adolescent fantasies of superstardom or heroism are contrived, obscure, and yet completely achievable. The world is ripe. Experience and the sheer passing of time allow for self-reflection, and often a reassessment of one’s goals and abilities. In maturation, there is a tendency to look more cynically upon one’s dreams and what can be achieved. The escape from societal ladder-climbing upon retirement, however, allows for a complete resurgence of merriment, freedom, and dreaming.
Elder Kinder addresses the innocence at both ends of the generational spectrum. Yarmosky recruits his eager Brooklyn-born grandparents, two models very close to him, to pose in an assortment of playful costumes. Whimsical yet grounded in their age, each portrait finds a balance between vulnerability, empowerment, and pride. Using multiple layers of oil paint, Yarmosky employs dramatic lighting to create depth, literally and metaphorically. Each character’s stark pose accentuates the inconsistencies of age and appearance. Ranging from a shirtless cowboy to a pensive pink bunny rabbit, Yarmosky’s subjects explore the intersection of jaded seniority and the audacity of youth.
Yarmosky alludes to the entire life cycle in his work. Humor surges upon first inspection of these life-sized paintings’ eager and elderly participants. In graphite, Jason exquisitely renders delicate wrinkles or spider veins quickly making the inevitability of aging, both mentally and physically, overwhelmingly poignant. Chagrin dissipates in the wake of mortality’s resurgence. As Yarmosky’s first completed series since graduating from the School of Visual Arts, his images seethe with fresh audacity. He encourages his viewer to succumb to the revelry of life. Regardless of age or sentiment, it is never too late to reclaim the excitement of youth and denounce the stifling voices of maturity.