06 Jan Martha Otero presents All Of This Has Not Occurred by Eric White
Eric White – All Of This Has Not Occurred
Show Runs Through: November 9, 2013 – January 18, 2014
Martha Otero Gallery is pleased to present New York based artist Eric White’s exhibition All Of This Has Not Occurred.
“I think that movies are a conspiracy. They set you up to believe in ideals and strength and good guys and romance — and, of course, love. But there’s no Charles Boyer in my life. I never even met a Charles Boyer. I never met Clark Gable or Humphrey Bogart. They don’t exist—that’s the truth.” —Gena Rowlands in John Cassavetes’ Minnie And Moskowitz (1971)
“In the early 20th Century . . . elites began experimenting with mass propaganda in the form of advertising and public relations . . . which amounted to nothing less than the regimentation of the human imagination, according to the demands of the industrial system.” —Richard Heinberg, Peak Everything
Inspired structurally and conceptually by John Martin’s apocalyptic paintings, White generates a world seen through the eyes of a quintessential watchman: anxious, hyper-alert, and secretly powerful. He becomes determined to push aside the thick veil of American media’s technology of psychological manipulation by inhabiting the psyche of a brilliant, creative, and disturbed conspiracy theorist.
White’s practice is centered around masterfully executed figurative painting, penetrated by tremors of traditional Surrealism. He has worked with film imagery for over two decades; not merely appropriating stills, he moves beyond the enchanting visual stratum to a new metaphysical level, employing a kind of schizophrenic dream logic. His paintings are derived from disrupted cinematic moments where actors tread the dangerously thin line between character immersion and audience interaction.
White describes this work as Paranoid Social Realism. It is a window into an alternate Hollywood, an invented multidimensional world in which accepted notions of linear time are denied. Nonexistent films are populated by actors and directors from staggered eras, new histories are woven into existing ones, and impossible scenarios develop which acknowledge reality and open new avenues of experience. The work is an expression of our culture of infotainment overwhelm and mass-media hypnosis, ultimately confronting us with the cataclysmic possibilities of our voracious appetite for more.
In the project room is an installation entitled “1/3-Scale Retrospective.” This series presents older works from White reproduced at exactly one-third of their original size. These seemingly exquisite reproductions, upon closer inspection, are unfaithful knock-offs produced at Xiamen Unique Oil Painting Co., Ltd. in China. By subcontracting out the replication of selections from his oeuvre, White plays with notions of appropriation, authorship, and the ‘fake’ phenomenon specific to luxury brands, and takes a playful jab at the hallowed ‘retrospective’ of the established—and often dead—artist by staging a false one of his own work in miniature.
Eric White was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990. He has served as adjunct professor at The School of Visual Arts in New York City since 2006. In 2010, White received a Painting Fellowship from The New York Foundation for the Arts. He has participated in group exhibitions at El Museo De La Cuidad De Mexico, the Laguna Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MACRO) in Rome, and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.