“Likeness” Group Show Deals with Identity in The Post-Information Age
“Likeness,” currently on view at Albertz Benda gallery, holds a mirror up to our ego-centric digital age. Through various modes of expression, seven international contemporary artists address social pressures linked to our unyielding obsession with image and identity.
Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto’s short film Likeness (2013) about teen-age eating disorders sets the tone for the show. The film is a personal reflection on his own daughter’s disorder, but Prieto casts an actress to represent the struggle between self-perception and societal expectations of the female form. Terry Rodgers continues to address the theme of youth through his hyper-realist paintings of privileged, yet detached adolescents.
Other works in the show offer a further introspective contemplation of identity, vulnerability, and memory. Sara-Vide Ericson uses the natural world as a dichotomous backdrop to the pressures of urban society, highlighting the emotional turmoil experienced by her subjects. Dongwook Lee and Nathaniel Mary Quinn both call attention to the relationships between the grotesque and humane in their sculpture and painting, respectively. While Lee manipulates the human form to reflect on human obsession with material objects, Quinn assembles and reassembles limbs and facial features to examine identity and memory. Kalup Linzy uses video narrative inspired by soap operas to challenge standards of sexuality, race, and gender. Del Kathryn Barton’s vibrant and otherworldly portraiture, and Dennis Scholl’s scrupulous drawings beautifully depict familial relations and the cyclical nature of growth and decay.
The “post-information age portraits” created by the artists in this exhibition each contribute an intimate and nuanced facet to the shifting prism of our modern world. The exhibition asks viewers to reflect on one’s own complex identity in relationship to the curated-self shared on social media. In a sense, “Likeness” is a rendering of the true face of humanity.
“Likeness” is on view at Albertz Benda gallery through February 13, 2016.