MCCAIG-WELLES GALLERY Announces
Joseph Whiteley@McCaig-Welles 03/04/05
"Drive The Car Into The Ditch" Brooklyn, New York (February 20, 2004): The McCaig-Welles Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Joseph Whiteley. The exhibition will open with a reception on Friday, March 4, 2005 from 7-10 pm.
Many of the earliest influences of Whiteley's work as an artist come from pop culture: skateboard graphics, album cover art, and graffiti. He immediately gravitated towards the color and graphic subject matter, and felt it was something that he could relate to as an artist:
"I've been working a lot in collage over the past year, trying to bring together elements of my graffiti background, with my more academic, "fine art" background. I love seeing different fonts and design on everyday objects that isn't meant to be considered art; as much as I'm fascinated by the "high art" of classical figure painting."
The largest drawing in the exhibit, titled "Moving" was done purely from observation, using three suitcases found in the trash in a Brooklyn neighborhood. He did drawings of the three objects in a repeated manner, giving the illusion of 12 suitcases stacked in a tower-like form. The composition of the painting gives the illusion that one is completely encompassed by the image as it runs off the top and bottom of the paper, giving the sense of something powerful and infinite.
The drawing is done entirely of detailed pencil work besides small details of clothing, painted in enamel and protruding from the suitcases. The flat graphic element of the paint is an important contrast to the intensely detailed pencil work, suggesting an element of life in the suitcases.
Much of the work in the exhibition is comprised of very classical figurative painting distorted in one manner or another. In one series Whitely has constructed a series of large-scale pencil drawings in which he has created minimal scenarios of human figures with zebra heads:
"The graphic nature of the zebra patterns is very interesting to me aesthetically, and I use the image to obstruct the figure, so it's not about a specific person but more about provoking a certain feeling with the final image. I like playing with empty space and minimal compositions... with no attachments of time or a specific setting." In "The Rat Figure" The flowers represent the figure being in a state of oblivion while the rats are slowly and quietly taking over he/she. The figure is listless and un-energetic, giving up and relinquishing all control.
Joseph Whitely is well known as a graffiti artist and muralist who works and lives in Brooklyn, NY. This will be his first NYC solo exhibition offering an opportunity to view his fine art works, a style differing from his publicized murals and installations located throughout NYC.
Whiteley was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad including The Merry Karnowsky Gallery, 111 Minna Gallery, Arc Gallery, Fahrenheit, GV/AS Gallery, Triple Five Soul, among many others. Joseph Whiteley is a featured artist in the recent publication "Autograf" PowerHouse Books, 2004 and also recently made an appearance on NBC'S "The Apprentice" as a sought out graffiti artist for an upcoming Trump project. His previous solo and group shows have been reviewed in The New York Times, Juxtapoz, Ginko Press, Big Shot Magazine and others. His work is in both major private and public collections.
About MCCAIG-WELLES GALLERY
McCaig-Welles is an artist-run gallery emphasizing urban and street art, showing mid-career and well known artists including NYC Lase, Shepard Fairey, Futura, The Tats Cru, Seen, Quik, Ewok, Dalek, Doze, and Martha Cooper. McCaig-Welles is a member of The Williamsburg Gallery Association and was cited for "Best Graffiti Art" in "The Best of Manhattan" issue of The New York Press. Recent reviews and articles have been featured in The New York Press, AM NY, The Village Voice, The Wooster Collective, The Columbia Spectator, Paper Magazine and others.
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