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Danny Licul: Moral Investments and Other Follies

Lobby Gallery, Wall Street Journal
1155 Avenue of the Americas
February 25 - April 8, 2011
Reception: Thursday, March 24, 6 - 8 PM

Work Statement

I paint situations using people and events that are part of my history in order to comment on broader social issues.

In these works, power plays are explored in a parochial school setting. Oppressor and oppressed trade off as tensions escalate between a cast that includes the angry nun, the good girl, the optimistic teacher, and the boy obsessed with Rambo (a popular symbol from Reagan’s presidency and beyond, as well as archetype of the lone wolf who lashes out when pushed too far). Unfortunately, the student and faculty masses are caught in the middle.

Messages from social interaction, religion and popular media are absorbed at home and school and the child’s developing mind struggles to make sense of it. Columbine, pedophilia, and fundamentalism are some of topics that I routinely consider while developing the paintings.

The viewer experiences each picture via cinematic angles and cropping as well as layered imagery reminiscent of multiple exposures. Events are pieced together, or constructed, through the recurrence of motifs throughout the paintings.

For reference material I constructed a scale model based on the grammar school I attended, populated with clay figures and furniture.
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