From Jun 9th through Jul 18th, 2010.
Big Sky West(chester) is a collective show featuring works by Ahmed Gómez, Robert McKnight, Jorge Pantoja, Raúl Perdomo and Tracey Snelling. The exhibition opens to the public on June 11th at 7:00 p.m.
The show explores the expansive sky of the American West as a determinant of freedom and opportunity; fraught with danger and risks, explorative voyages that are filled with adventures and hope for a better future. Strong cinematic content and play define this exhibit along with fantasy, science fiction, film noir, comics and the Westerns; the wild frontier and renegade spirit as part of the American dream and nightmare.
In Go West, the words act as almost a foreboding premonition of danger if one doesn’t hurry away from the site of the sculpture. The snowy scene with objects forever stuck in the frozen pond portray the opposite feeling of the West. The piece acts as almost a pulp fiction book cover or a film noir movie poster, capturing the title, dramatic scene and mood that these often contain.
Crossroads/Badlands celebrates the idea of venturing out in the Southwest, and the landscape of the West. One side has a video that is about road trips; the other side has video that explores Westerns and the lone cowboy. Both sides reference the solitary path that one takes when setting out for exploration. The billboards and titles represent both billboards alongside roads such as Route 66, and the 1950’s and 60’s kitsch that can be found at the roadside stops. – Tracey Snelling
Robert Altman’s Three Women (1977), having left indelible marks in Jorge Pantoja’s memory, is the source of the piece titled Like a Real Rock. The artwork plays with the artificial and the real. It erases the line between the two. The piece fantastically embodies a wish for the real as essential, bordering on decorative elements and the desire for fantasy. Carol Jazzar writes about the artist “Jorge Pantoja comments on cinematographic history and our faculty for impressions”; a freeze-framed image as a flash that acts as a key to emotions and imperfect, fractured actualities. By recalling the seminal movie, Three Women, Pantoja‟s work stands as a testament to both the longevity of good directorship and the fickle, impressionable nature of the mind.
“I use drawings as a means of holding onto a past that endlessly eludes me. This flow of images is not related to a physical space. It includes that special time, the insular space created by the memory of the films that I love.” – Jorge Pantoja.
The paintings Cowboy Smith, Cowboy and The Sniper are from a series with a strong reference to comics and the western culture. “My objective is to have two elements of formally distinct nature coexist in a narrative environment. The cowboys trapped in a pictorial environment, loyal to their heroic duty but devoid of the literal meaning of the story, taking its place through icons or formal references to another “western” in its broadest sense, which design is culturally established; to illustrate a tautology without giving up the possibilities of painting: The Good, the Bad and the Painter” – Ahmed Gómez.
Americana struck a chord with the leading round pieces of Bluebonnet when the curved blue pieces were placed back to back. Abstraction is more than just design and pleasing the eye. This “cutting edge‟ sculpture asks the artist to look at more than the merits of good design.
The Conestoga wagons, with the pioneer settler and his wife with the flowing hoopskirt capped with her bonnet tied tightly to her head, are central to American Western expansion and the pioneering spirit. The bonnet is as much a symbol to America as the Colt 45 or the Remington Rifle. “In making this piece the intent was to create a dramatic design that stood on its own merit as a pleasing design and, secondly, to speak to some conviction, some statement that makes the collection of elements have a reason for working together. If the mind questions, then the eye can give it answers.” – Robert McKnight.
Raúl Perdomo’s Space Cowboy is a seminal work to his current Multiverse Series. In 2002, NASA launched the space shuttle Columbia on a mission to service the Hubble Telescope. These astronauts, in that environment, were moving at tens of thousands of
miles per hour, 360 miles in outer space! Here was the embodiment of humanity’s drive for knowledge, temporarily sustained inside a life support system suit, which in turn was tethered to the shuttle by an umbilical. The juxtaposition between this “larger than life” action and the absolute fragility of these conditions was certainly moving.
“The real transformative component for me however, was that an unbroken chain of events had led us to this moment in this place to repair this instrument; a technology that promises to bring us closer to the origin of the universe.” – Raúl Perdomo.
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