Thanks for Nothing: Judith Supine and Alia Shawkat at Known Gallery, LA
Exhibition release for Artist Management Company SIMJEE Textor.
KNOWN GALLERY: SEPTEMBER 14th – 28th, 2013
Known Gallery is proud to present Thanks for Nothing, an exhibition featuring new works by American artists Judith Supine and Alia Shawkat, and curated by Naheed Simjee (Simjee Textor).
The exhibition will unveil more than 50 original miniatures by Supine alongside a series of his larger works. Created on top of lottery scratch cards, the small-scale collages are portraits of contemporary American society. Each work presents a mashup of class, race, culture and economy, epitomized by the ritual of the lottery. Decorative patterning and linework harks back to engravings and woodcuts by Supine and his “art gods” – the likes of Albrecht Dürer and Leanard Baskin – transported to the 21st century by an upbeat tempo of reverberating color.
Supine’s move to miniature offers an in-focus intimacy with the artist. Their proximity invites the viewer to hone in on the intricate craft of cutting, folding and juxtaposing visual triggers unearthed in a treasure trove of art books, sleazy magazines, candy packaging, phone cards, cigarette boxes and cigar wrappers. Through his technique of free association, Supine transforms his magpie collection into a tightly rendered depiction of collective consciousness: a stream of critique and reflection on a milieu that Supine sees as The Hunger Games meets the dichotomy between the sacred and the profane. His organic approach to art-making turns each lotto ticket into a sandbox for the subconscious mind, and each androgynous brainchild an immediate expression of the sensation of a closeness to God.
Thanks for Nothing is Judith Supine’s third solo exhibition in as many years, a testament to his palpable force as an artist on the edge of contemporary postmodern art.
Running concurrently to Supine’s show, Alia Shawkat’s latest pen and ink drawings in color will be on display in the Project Room. Shawkat’s work is a comedic commentary on life, portraying a mix of humorous and absurd characters and situations that seem to say, “We’re all in this together… but don’t we look stupid doing it.” Drawing on Shawkat’s acting experience, her artworks have the quality of mise-en-scène, with each character and its props carefully constructed around a visual theme that tells a tale of a sardonic or satirical nature.
Shawkat’s new work incorporates haphazard scrawls and color washes that verge on abstraction, while a combination of both hidden and overt characters hold true to her dark form of narrative. With this exhibition she aims to change the perception of what going to an art show could be.
Join us for the opening on Saturday, September 14th, 2013 at 20h00 at Known Gallery, 441 N. Fairfax Avenue. Thanks for Nothing will run until September 28th, 2013.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Headlining artist: Judith Supine
Judith Supine (b. 1978) is an American artist known for his surrealistic, tongue-in-cheek work in collage and prior to that his street art – perhaps most notoriously a monstrous fifty-foot green figure hung off the Manhattan Bridge in 2007. After ending his love affair with the illegal nature and outside stature of street art, Supine moved his focus to an indoor arena, and since 2008 he has held four solo exhibitions and participated in twenty-three group shows. He has converted entire galleries with his resin-coated neon pastiches (Ladyboy (2011) at New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles) and large-scale portraits (Too Much For One Man (2012) at Jonathan LeVine, New York), most of which combine original and reproduced collage and painting on panel. Supine’s first solo exhibition (Dirt Mansion (2008) at the English Kills Gallery, Brooklyn) transformed a warehouse in Bushwick into a three-dimensional walk-in art installation, setting the bar high for his exhibitions to follow. His latest series of work, Thanks for Nothing, does another 360, from immersive, larger-than-life creations to miniature versions of his signature mashup portraits. It also, however, represents a step closer to the artist; while his larger works are blown-up reproductions of his collages reprinted in grayscale and painted over with neon colors, these smaller works are original, handmade collages – a return to what Supine sees as the most enjoyable and creative part of his artistic process.
Judith Supine is a moniker derived from the artist’s mother’s maiden name, while at the same time being a reference to religion and the history of art. His mother a painter and father and brother both writers, Supine grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia, in a household in which creativity was encouraged. An inherent introvert, Supine did not speak until the age of 17. However, he expressed himself through collage and drawing, and was allowed to draw and paint all over his childhood house. Since leaving home at 18 he has moved between Amsterdam, London and Virginia, with brief intermissions for drug and alcohol addictions and a relationship with a prostitute.
Project Room: Alia Shawkat
Alia Shawkat (b. 1989) is a self-taught artist, musician and actress. While she has been drawing all of her life, sharing her work in a public, commercial space is new for the artist, albeit a natural progression for her. A well-rounded creative talent, Shawkat’s career has thus far focused on acting, and she is best known for her roles in television show Arrested Development, Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut Whit It! and indie films The Oranges and That’s What She Said. She is also a jazz singer and an aspiring animator for television and comic books.
As an artist her work has been featured in Juxtapoz magazine and at Vice Gallery. When drawing she works primarily in ink, Copic pen and oil pastel. She has also dabbled in collage and oil on canvas, and is excited by exploring new mediums.
Shawkat draws her subject matter from real life and the subconscious, depicting “weird moments” from social situations and performances, often with human embarrassment at its crux. Her latest work continues in this theme, while experimenting with levels of abstraction and a variety of techniques.
Shawkat was born in Palm Springs, California and currently lives in Los Angeles, where she has her studio. See more of her work at mutantalia.com.