artist / participant
Reception: Friday, March 30, 6 – 8 pm
Freight + Volume is pleased to present Ion Birch’s solo exhibition The Spiraling Sun. In the main gallery, the artist will introduce a new series of graphite works on paper that explore memory, fantasy and sexual awakening, perusing this territory in exaggerated and loving detail. His drawings further investigate the gravitas of figurative art as a way to elicit discussions about sexual taboos and the fragile boundaries within which they exist.
Generally modest in scale, Birch's carefully rendered graphite drawings have an effeminate old-world softness. Enraptured men and women housed in both Victorian and contemporary settings are depicted in perpetual stages of anticipation, expulsion and debauchery. The protagonist/antagonist in each piece is a thinly disguised version of the artist, appearing as the focus of the narrative, or featured in the periphery. Through this indirect form of self-portraiture, Birch offers us works that are journeys of self-discovery, taking particular interest in the awkwardly inaccurate ways one sees oneself. Birch’s works delve into the Fin de Siècle notions of utopian optimism. By allowing genitalia and unbridled acts of hedonism to populate his pictures, the artist strives to demystify that which is typically puritan and suppressed. The Freudian subconscious inevitably peppers his scenes; his ethereal human tableaus manifest in fleeting moments within the mind and once put on paper act as a device to negotiate the artist’s innermost thoughts. By this method Birch deconstructs our preconceptions of sexuality framed as they are in high artistic form.
Ion Birch was born and raised in New York City where he currently lives and works. Birch studied at Rhode Island School of Design. This will be his fourth solo show having exhibited at Neon Gallery, Sweden; Bellwether, New York; Bronwyn Keenan, New York; Margrett, New York.
In the project space Erik den Breejen will present a group of colorful acrylic canvases featuring song lyrics appropriated from rock anthems and indy hits. Songs are truncated to display witty catch phases such as “pretty as the mess you made of getting laid” and “In this horrible age of abuse and decay, it’s good to know somebody’s lookin’ OK.” Elvis Costello, Pulp, David Bowie and Neutral Milk Hotel all make appearances.
Den Breejen’s chosen soundtracks subconsciously dictate the manner by which the works are created. His canvases function as a self-explorative diary, which trace fleeting sentiments brought forth from lyrics.
A native Californian, Erik den Breejen attended California College of Arts and Crafts, University of California at Santa Cruz and received his MFA from Cornell University. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. While not making art, den Breejen focuses his efforts on his band Acid Canyon.
THE SPIRALING SUN
Erik den Breejen
RUINED BY LOVE SONGS