Vito Schnabel and PM Tenore are pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Erik Brunetti and Jesse Edwards. Bringing together Brunetti and Edwards’ work for the first time in New York, this exhibition presents works that explore and expand the boundaries of “Americana,” a theme that both artists have long been engaged with. The artists utilize traditional artifacts and mediums to confront definitions of heritage and normalcy in American media and contemporary culture.
Erik Brunetti (b. 1967, Phillipsburg, NJ) lives and works in Marfa, TX and Los Angeles, CA. Brunetti investigates nonconformity and freethinking in American society, raising questions about the limits of freedom and expression in an age governed by media moguls inclined to regulate and censor information for corporate profit and political gain.
Brunetti’s Branded Steerhide series combines the craftsmanship of traditional blacksmithing with stereotypical pop culture elements. His use of cattle branders and animal hides references the West and the cowboy culture inherent to American history. Brunetti sees the aggressive action of burning the Playboy logo into a cowhide as analogous with the ways in which the media brands our collective identity.
Jesse Edwards (b. 1977, Hayden Lake, ID) lives and works in New York, NY and Seattle, WA. Edwards studied oil painting at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle and later studied ceramics with Charles Krafft. He worked with Chuck Close, a well known photo-realist painter, from late 2012 to early 2013. Edwards historicizes American counterculture by representing its symbols and iconic imagery in formal art historical genres such as still lifes, landscapes and portraits.
Edwards uses the traditional medium of ceramic to create television monitors that depict scenes from movies, pornography, news, and cartoons, commenting on visual stimulation in American society. People spend more time looking at screens than anything else: televisions, computers, cellphones. Pornography is a $13 billion dollar industry in the U.S. and accounts for 30 percent of all data transferred across the internet. Walt Disney is number 17 in Forbes’ 2013 list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands, along with Apple, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds. Edwards’ subject matter assumes what the public might choose to watch on television: graphic porn scenes and Mickey Mouse. Using mirrored finishes and even including one fully reflective television screen, Edwards reveals the public’s guilty participation in our increasingly perverse society.
The exhibition will be on view Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm. Please direct all inquiries to [email protected]