Based on a unique approach of the material and symbolical world, Reeder’s operative mode results in humorous yet profoundly challenging comments through paintings and sculptures. Vigorously dismantling the myths behind the most readily available aspects of our daily lives (Such as food, money, the human body, infrastructures) the artist plays on the literalness of their materiality while stripping them bear of symbolical value in a matter of fact fashion rooted in a play on words and absurdity.
In working with a primitive, non-symbolical vocabulary, Reeder demystifies reality by systematically depriving it from any kind of subjective content. In doing so, he sets ground for a reflection on language in relation to Reality where the titles often complete the work. When, for instance, he produces a painting whose theme is eye versus brain, it’s the actual rendition of an eye fighting with a brain in a boxing ring that is depicted. Likewise, American Dick, 2006 is nothing more than an American flag in the shape of male genitalia. In dissociating the actual and the symbolical in his subject matter, Reeder returns to a 1:1 relationship of the object to language. Such an approach isn’t without recalling the Dada practices of Marcel Duchamp and directness of Andy Warhol’s translations to silk-screens. Like Warhol, Reeder presents the world back to us without judgment or hierarchy; where tuna cans and electric chairs are depicted in the same symbolic content equivalent; in Reeder’s work fruit and grenades are in the same bowl as seen in the painting titled Still Life w/ Grenades, 2006.
The consistent flatness and compositional simplicity of the paintings convey uncomplicated images that echo the conceptual premise of the work. Yet on closer observation, the surfaces offer a wealth of meaningful details. In All The Boring States, 2006, a work that plays off of the joke that nothing exists between the east and west coasts, the brush work in the work becomes especially meaningful in reinforcing the pentimento effect created by the juxtaposition of thin rectangles of color lying upon a dark gray base. Depicting an aerial view of the United States, this work stands as a statement from the artist on the simultaneous unity and diversity of the country, as well as on its coherence and absurdity as a whole.
Committed to the subject in his paintings, Paper At Night, 2006 at first glance appears to be an abstract painting but is in fact blank pieces of paper being depicted on a canvas; Reeder explores the tension between apparent abstraction and suggested representation, and in confronting these two opposites, he manages to maintain a fine balancing act without recourse to pure representational painting or pure abstraction.
With an identifiable color palate, Reeder also extends into ceramic sculpture. Crumbled pieces of blank ceramic paper litter the gallery floor, materializing potential discarded ideas into permanent objects symbolical of the artist’s creative ramblings and hesitations.
A slab constructed red and gray flower vase in the shape of a time bomb is everything at once: painterly sculpture and functional humor.