- ALREADY HAPPENED:
Through the Looking Glass: Scooter LaForge & Brett De Palma at NADA Miami
December 6, 2018 @ 10:00 am - December 9, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
Howl! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project is pleased to present Through the Looking Glass, an installation of fearless and masterful paintings by Brett De Palma and Scooter LaForge. Through the Looking Glass marries two important painters’ vivid interpretations of our current upside down and bewildering world. Paralleling Lewis Carroll’s phantasmagorical satire that so poignantly skewered Victorian England, De Palma and LaForge’s layered allegorical paintings ridicule, expose, and critique the foolishness, corruption, vices, and villains in society around them.
De Palma and LaForge blend seamlessly in this installation. De Palma’s large painted tarp propels a visual narrative overlaid with LaForge’s metaphors. Their collaborative work breaks out of stylistic conventions to forge dense new visual territory. In a world with an overabundance of fear, anger, and inequity, their psychedelic tapestry offers humorous critique and laughter as a way to build consensus and community for our absurd times. December 6–9, 2018 / NADA Miami / Booth 10.26
Brett De Palma Through the Looking Glass, Darkly
Brett De Palma’s large (9 x 16’) painted tarp, Through the Looking Glass, Darkly, mirrors the epic Lewis Carroll satirical novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in an American context. In this updated version, Alice experiences, as if in a dream, an American political ecosystem from RFK’s assassination to Trump’s balloon of tweets, while a giant raven floats over a world of imperial monarchy.
On the other side of the mirror, Alice moves with the sleep of reason through the stages of aging, both of the individual as well as empire. This absurd tale about the confusion produced by authoritarian upside down and backwards logic reveals parallels between then and now. With brash color and Pollock-like drips over two worlds of stars and stripes and a checkered ground, the poetic painting appears like an unsolved jigsaw puzzle, confusing time and space and morphing style and scale. Brimming with the menace of friendly monsters such as the Jabberwock and Humpty Dumpty, Alice is heroically tested in an empire of would-be kings and queens.
After passing through trials of nonsense and disorientation, Alice becomes queen. This empowerment may be an illusion only obtainable in a fantasy world—leaving the viewer wondering if “life is but a dream.”
Similarly, for LaForge, fairy tales and allegory dance together in works that draw from such diverse sources as Mannerist and old master paintings, comic books, cartoons, and pop culture. Like all good fairy tales, his paintings may first appear funny, playful, and light. But appearances can be deceiving. What is below their richly painted surfaces can be very sinister indeed.
A mash-up of huge expressionist gestures against impossibly delicate paint handling, La Forge’s paintings are both powerful and exquisitely finessed. And like the Mannerists who created their own aesthetic while commenting on the social upheaval in 16th century Venice, LaForge’s new body of work is informed by current events—a fantasy of imaginary creatures and magic—full of ambiguity and dreamlike visions that invoke pleasure by their painterly appeal, but also an edge of danger or menace that mirrors the tension of living on the dark side of troubling times.
NADA Miami / December 6–9, 2018 / Booth 10.26
Ice Palace Studios, 1400 North Miami Avenue
VIP Preview by Invitation: Thursday, December 6, 10 AM–2 PM
Opening Preview by Invitation: Thursday, December 6, 12–2 PM
Open to the Public
Thursday, December 6, 2–7 PM
Friday, December 7, 11 AM–7 PM
Saturday, December 8, 11 AM–7 PM
Sunday, December 9, 11 AM–5 PM
The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) is the definitive non-profit arts organization dedicated to the cultivation, support, and advancement of new voices in contemporary art. newartdealers.org