Thursday, August 14, 2014

Off the Grid: Nick Arcidy

It seems incredible to me, following my father's passing, that just 5 weeks ago I was excited about the opening of my guest-curated exhibition "Off the Grid: Beyond the Noise" at the Atlantic Gallery, about which I last posted here. I never did have a chance to announce on this blog best in show. It was a difficult choice, as there were a number of excellent works in the exhibition. I had narrowed the pool down to 5 finalists, and in the end I selected as the winner Nick Arcidy for the work you see here, Ethernet Exhaltation, 2014, gouache on wood, 11 x 11 in.

I was impressed how Arcidy managed in such a small work to capture so much imagery that aptly responded to the theme of the show. He considers the technological grid that we seem unable to escape from in our world these days, and inverts it into a monastic experience, leaving the viewer uncertain if the figure seen here is praising the grid or praying to be released from it. The cathedral-like space behind the figure reverberates with icons of technology, creating a strange noise/silence that is charming and yet full of despair. Arcidy's painting made me think of The Jetsons and pseudo-science, as well as Japanese anime and advertising art. I see echoes of Kenny Scharf's work here too.

Arcidy's prize is a one-person show at the Atlantic Gallery in the spring. I look forward to seeing it in person and more from this young artist in the future. If you would like to see/hear me say a bit more about this work, here's a link to a short video clip someone at the gallery took of me having just announced Arcidy's work as best in show.

No comments: