Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
Exhibition: July 14 -August 12, 2011
Reception: August 8, 2011 6-8pm
Sounds by DJ Control
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities presents an exhibition of new art works by Shaunté Gates, Jamea Richmond-Edwards and Amber Robles-Gordon, Delusions of Grandeur. This exhibition is the result of an artistic dialog about the “delusions of grandeur” they each possess in order to continue progressing in their careers and most importantly in their artwork. Their paintings and mediums are formally very different and highly individualized— Gates style of infusing his paintings with various pieces of print media and assemblage creates very elusive narratives; Richmond-Edwards collage together ink drawn women with printed papers and embellished materials, her elaborate collages mimic those that would be seen in fashion lay-outs in magazines; and Robles-Gordon focuses on fusing found objects to convey her own personal memories inspired by nature, womanhood and her belief in recycled energy. In spite of their different approaches, they all share important intentions; to directly engage the viewer to take a look into their world of opulence, fantasy and power.
Shaunté Gates work combines multiple processes and genres, by taking appropriations and gestures from pop culture and print media which are combined to create elusive narratives. Gate’s works seduce us into an imaginary world of juxtaposition and fantasy, a place when the contradictions of culture and the human psyche are collided. His mixed media paintings capture the beauty in subjects that may appear bleak to the average eye at first glance. Gates ideas are derived from the pain, joy, and the beautiful way everything universally is connected.
Jamea Richmond-Edwards work explores the contradictions of female and cultural identity and makes reference to Greek Mythology, African folklore and international fashion. Richmond-Edwards examine how mythologies from ancient times translate into today’s culture and time allegorically. Her figures are empowered by their survivalist adaptation to circumstance. Their sharp features are inspired by both high fashion models and the everyday women in her community.
Amber Robles-Gordon mixed media artworks draw upon her journey through motherhood, genealogy, healing, and being alive today. They represent her technical and scholarly growth as an artist, and are supported by her professional development in the Washington, DC area. Her two- and three-dimensional pieces fit within an expansive notion of painting and sculptural form. She uses wood or painted, stretched canvas to support an accumulation of media in low- or sharp-relief. These assemblages require a close look to interpret their individual parts. Collectively, these parts form a visual energy comprised of the previous “lives” of the objects, their former owners, and the artist’s hand.