Exhibition | UNCANNY VALLEY | at | Ventura | Art Week

UNCANNY VALLEY

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Date: 
Saturday, 30 July 2016 to Sunday, 18 September 2016
Opening: 
Saturday, 30 July 2016 - 7:00pm

Dab Art is pleased to present UNCANNY VALLEY, a solo exhibition of 30 paintings by Alexander Churchill at The HUD Gallery. These large-scale paintings burst with energy and precision, yet mystify with their complex permutations and combinations of figurative and surreal elements. Alexander will be present for the opening reception, making his west coast debut.

These canvases string together compositional elements of image and texture paradoxically, with an uncanny level of exactitude into a wealth of smooth, vivid detail. Images are manipulated and interwoven into volatile phantasmagorias of color and form. In these spectacular pictorial inventions brightly colored blocks and perfectly rendered figures slice through multiple layers, which reject any attempt by the eye to find a resting place. 

Churchill also returns to a theme many artists explore throughout their careers, the self-portrait. Art is often about the artist confronting himself and Churchill consciously picks up on this, fusing his images into an extremely personal mythology, while at the same time commenting on issues of tradition, imagination, and the significance of antiquity and modernity. The fashion in which Churchill depicts himself is exaggerated or misshapen, transmuting between human and not.

Moving through various conceptual constructs including the contemporary, the banal and the heavenly, his work evolves from its literal beginnings into visceral manifestations that dazzle the eye and confound the senses. UNCANNY VALLEY exposes basic human vulnerabilities while embracing visual aesthetics. By embracing an unconventional middle, Churchill ultimately transports the viewer to from the surreal to the familiar and traditional, sanctioning the contemplation and deliberation of his works.

Alexander Churchill was born in San Diego California and raised in Vermont. He earned a Bachelors degree in Fine Art from Green Mountain College in 2008. Alexander now resides in Connecticut and his work has been widely exhibited throughout the Eastern United States. Recent exhibitions include "Surreal Salon", Group exhibition, Baton Rouge Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA (2016), "Outside Influence", Group Exhibition, Treo Gallery, New Orleans, LA (2015), "Intelligent Objects: Empathetic and Smart Art", Juried Exhibition, Hilles Gallery, New Haven, Ct (2015), "Wide Open 6", Juried Exhibition, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, Brooklyn, NY (2015), “International Fine Art Exhibition”, Agora Gallery, New York, NY (2014), "Not so Still Life", Group Exhibition Southport Galleries, Southport, Ct (2014)

Curated by Yessíca Torres
Dab Art
T. 1 805 626 8876
E. info@dabart.me
www.DabArt.me

Artist ( Description ): 

Alexander Churchill

Through my art I want to explore an underlying anxiety and uncertainty towards human interaction and the natural world. I am interested in how we process and react to interpersonal visual communication and how it can be applied to Art. The phenomenon where we recognize human characteristics and faces in random objects or imagery, known as pareidolia, plays a role in the concept of my work as well as the theory of the "uncanny valley" which demonstrates an apprehension and repulsion towards a slightly less than perfect human likeness. We are instinctually programmed to seek out human faces and then relate to them. The faces and figures in my paintings provide a target to grab the eye and form an empathy in the viewer. The intention of being thoughtfully painted provides a staying ability, (something that makes you want to look at it for a while) but then deceives with the use of themes, imagery, settings and colors that seem unsettling and frightful. I choose imagery that subversively incites feelings of vague uneasiness and intrigue that try to blur the lines between awe and dread. I also make an effort to subtly include themes of fundamental human concerns with the use of ambiguous symbolism, absurd imagery and abstract elements. The intention of this is to trigger an elemental and animalistic part of the viewer in a way that is suggestive to powerful controlling cues like survival, sexuality, violence, the sublime and abstract thought. All of this portrayed with the beauty and reverence of a delicately painted picture, means to create aconflict between attraction and aversion and a tension between empathy and mistrust thats reminds the viewer of a trepidation towards an infinitely complex and chaotic universe and the potential for madness in everyone.  

-A. Churchill

Telephone: 
805.626.8876
Venue ( Address ): 

The HUD Gallery + Studios is a 10,000 square foot vintage building completely dedicated to the arts, located between Santa Barbara and Malibu. The HUD includes a large Main Gallery on the first floor, a secondary feature exhibit room on the second floor; SPACE140, a 2700 cubic foot suspended installation area and 15 artist studios. All exhibitions and installations are curated exclusively by Dab Art. For more information about The HUD, visit www.theHUDventura.com

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