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G. Bradley Rhodes, a handful of my head

Larissa Goldston Gallery
551 West 21st Street, 212-206-7887
February 15 - March 22, 2007
Reception: Thursday, February 15, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Drawing from his own experiences as a child growing up in the rural south, his new urban environment, and the abundant, pervasive imagery of popular culture, Rhodes brings together a massive cast of characters to create these fantastical compositions that investigate human relationships, social structures, political themes, religious uncertainty, and the psychological drama of everyday life in America. The paintings are at once humorous and macabre.

Reminiscent of the violent worlds of Bosch and Brueghel, the deviant nature of Rhodes’ universe is partially obscured by his paintings’ exuberant colors and his balanced sense of composition. Executed on richly painted wood panel backgrounds, Rhodes constructs these elaborate tableaux from individual, cut-out painted and drawn images that stylistically recall animation and outsider art aesthetics.

The unusual picture surfaces that result from the numerous collaged elements both distract the viewer from the unnerving and explicit imagery within, and serve as an entry-point to the complex and dangerous scenes. These include heads decapitated from their bodies, figures getting shot or shooting themselves, feet and hands with stigmata, burning trains, and other disturbing – perhaps apocalyptic – visions. Rhodes’ references to religion, racism, sex and violence embody narrative themes to portray his dark, imagined, but often too familiar worlds
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