Ryan Michael Ford
and David Humphrey
October 25 – November 24, 2013
David Humphrey and Ryan Michael Ford channel a contemporary zeitgeist of psycho-sexual angst, desire and fantasy. In the spirit of post-modern appropriation, both artists mine a treasure trove of material ranging from early Renaissance painting, Surrealism, cartoons and digital media to create a world of familiar archetypes in unfamiliar landscapes.
David Humphrey collages images and chunks of painted material to create visual hybrids that challenge our belief in our psychic integrity. His work is nothing less than a portrayal of contemporary consciousness, a road map for how we navigate the world and our inner life. Humphrey’s paintings are frequently depictions of depictions. The artist copies an amateur painting, for instance, the way a band might cover a song written by someone else or the way a singer renders an old chestnut. The goal is to get inside another person’s point of view. Sometimes the preexisting image will provide a location for one of the paintings. Sometimes a sad clown or beloved pet painting will provide the protagonist. Humphrey’s renditions take liberties with the originals, adding characters or exaggerating and mutating elements. The work evolves from contact with the original image and carries iconographic elements and feelings into the finished state.
Ryan Michael Ford alternates between painting and sculpture, manipulating pop culture images and the vocabulary of modernism with equal ease. The result is a highly personal world populated by Ford’s characters, acutely observed figures drawn from reality and choreographed on a stage of his own devising. Ryan Ford’s original inspirations derive from 12th-15th century Sienese paintings, Philip Guston, Francis Bacon, George Condo, pop culture and video games. Known for comic symbolic abstraction, Ford delves deeper into his psyche. His work titillates the mind with streaks of quiet violence and provocative tranquility. Although his work sometimes deals with serious topics and themes, they are never without a mix of humor, pure absurdity and ridiculousness.
About the artists
David Humphrey is a New York artist who is represented by the Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, NY. He is a senior critic at the Yale School of Art. An anthology of his art writing, Blind Handshake, was published by Periscope Publishing in 2010 and is distributed by Prestel. David Humphrey’s work at Storefront Ten Eyck is courtesy of Fredericks & Freiser Gallery.
Ryan Michael Ford (b. 1979, Waterbury, CT) earned a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, GA, in 2002. His work has been exhibited at the Essl Museum in Vienna, Austria, and in New York at Rare, Factory Fresh, NYCAM, Onderdonk House, and Rivers Gallery. His work is included in The Wild Bunch, currently on view at Gallery Poulsen in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ford lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
In the project space
Jessie Brugger: Jolly Decay
Jessie Brugger‘s work is colorful and whimsical yet disquieting and political. The artist grew up in a Catholic family with a strong feminist mother. Both influences are evident in her portrayal of women, hierarchy, power struggles and gender inequality, side by side with glimpses beauty and light. Brugger’s sculptures and videos are a combination of the world we live in and an underworld filled with chaotic, dreamlike madness.
While working for the circus, Brugger discovered the book, “Rabelais and His World,” by Mikhail Bakhtin, which has been a constant influence on her work. The carnivalesque–with its atmosphere of laughter, celebration and chaotic feasting set in everyday locations–is a vehicle to portray thoughts and stories. Recurrent themes include birth and death, consumption and the body, the Virgin Mary, heaven and hell, and the grotesque. The artist moves seamlessly between sculpture and video, creating maquettes that serve as the subject of her animations. Each photo in the stop-animation video is a moment in time that is captured and complete yet part of a bigger picture.
Jessie Brugger was born in Washington State. She started her artistic studies in painting, drawing and mixed media at Western Washington University in 1997. In 2000, she transferred to Concordia University, in Montreal Quebec. At Concordia she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2002. Brugger moved to Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, in 2005 and completed a Masters of Fine Arts at the New York Academy of Art in 2010. She started working in stop animation in 2010 using her drawings, clay and other mixed materials. She was awarded a residency in Giverny, France, and created a piece called, “The Stained Glass Window.” In April 2011 she was awarded “Best in Animation” at the New York International Film Festival. In 2012 Jessie was awarded a studio at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. She has displayed her work and shown her films in film festivals nationally and internationally.