Bob Schneider

"The Life We Live Here"

January 4 - January 29, 2019

Opening Reception

Friday, January 4, 2019
6pm to 9pm

Artist Statement:

"The main theme of the work is the dichotomy between the backgrounds which are mainly Currier and Ives prints, meant to appeal to the broadest swath of the American public, and the figures in the foreground, culled from mostly very taboo 60's under the counter pornography magazines or magazines appealing to homosexuals.

 

What I find fascinating is the stuff that's OK to show in our society, ie. the idyllic scenes in the Currier and Ives prints, is much farther removed from the lives we live than the sex mags that we keep hidden behind the counter. Obviously, the world has changed since the 60's, but we still regard sexuality as something that you don't discuss or show in good company even though it is the driving force in the way we are wired as human beings to procreate and survive as a species.

 

There's a reason why I have the mulit-colored balls or confetti in the pieces as well, but I don't necessarily want to tell people what I think is going on in my work because a large part of the work is the viewers need to create a narrative involving the figures in the picture. If I tell people what my narrative is, it takes away that process which is unique to each viewer. Because it's not clear what is going on with the contrasting elements of the piece, it allows the imagination of the viewer to engage with the work in a way that wouldn't happen if it was a painting of a bowl of fruit or the original landscape that is in the background of these images. It's this unique story that the viewer creates that I find interesting, much more so than me forcing my opinion on them.

 

What I find energizing about the work is the idea of the appropriation of the source material. To me, it feels like theft. Granted the people who created the backgrounds are long dead and the company that created the images doesn't exist anymore, it still feels that way. I'm not asking permission to use these images and there's something about that that gives the work some energy.

 

The other part that I think gives the work more meaning is the idea that the models in this art originally posed for these pictures not with the intention that they would find their way into an art gallery one day, but to be in some sleazy porn mag. I love the idea that I am somehow elevating the source material, taking it out of the muck so to speak."

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