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Art January, 8 2010

Todd James “Make My Burden Lighter” at Gering & Lopez Gallery

GERING & LóPEZ GALLERY presents the debut solo exhibition of New York-based artist Todd James (a/k/a Reas).

In Make My Burden Lighter, James depicts the sinful truths of American life with winsome cartoonish charm. Anthropomorphized weapons cajole in blood baths with pink-skinned blonde bombshells. Sprawling battle scenes extend ad infinitum across multiple sheets of paper. Complex, all-consuming compositions have an overwhelming sense of momentum, as if they were inevitable and unstoppable. These celebratory scenes of massive global chaos are sharply ironic yet playfully whimsical, obscuring our collective moral sense of the sanctity of life and death while pushing the boundaries of the viewer’s ability to judge what is desirable or taboo.

These seemingly innocent stream-of-consciousness doodles may appear as overtly political protest pieces upon closer examination. However, James does not seek to be didactic with his work. He is more interested in visually exploring the rhetorical techniques utilized by the American government and media in their attempts at desensitizing the populace’s perception of current affairs. The American tradition of packaging, commodifying, and manipulating information is at play in these works. They thus deeply connect with the current state of our shared reality, critiquing how we as spectators are led to understand it.

Opening Reception: Friday, January 15, 6-8pm. Runs from January 15 – February 20, 2010, Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm.

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