Notating Hi Pops Review by Keren Moscovitch @ Artpulse Magazine

Joshua Dildine’s astute solo exhibition at Freight + Volume addresses
issues of memory, the archive, family dynamics and technology. An
examination of the ways his work leaps off the wall and enters our
consciousness may help elucidate the discourse it provokes. In short,
to see a Dildine on the wall of a gallery is to look at a painting—a
sensitively gestural work of art that reveals its process below the
surface of its brush strokes and saturates the viewer’s field of vision
with color, action and surface. To see a series of Dildines on a Web
site or in a gallery checklist, reduced to two-dimensional flatness
and devoid of their distorting scale, reveals another aspect to their
meaning, one that is directly tied to the photograph that originated
the piece and its violent resolution. 

Walter Benjamin warned that a work of art in the age of mechanical
reproduction is robbed of its aura. Dildine’s recently completed series
“Notating Hi Pops” plays with this proverbial sacrificial lamb from
multiple directions and on parallel timelines. Dildine prints old family
photographs onto large canvases and then attacks them with aggressive,
yet graceful mark-making in paint, ink and mixed media collage.
Speaking directly from the sensibility of a generation that has grown up
looking at “vintage” photographs as throwbacks of another era on upto-the-minute
social media sites, he comments upon a layer of historical
narrative in which the image is divorced from its physical context. The
photograph itself becomes a character in a contemporary drama, immersed
in a process of transformation and flux. 

In False May Minds, the photograph hiding behind an expressionistic
flair of swirling paint seems to be that of a young child lounging on a
father, sprawled upon a cozy suburban couch. The once-white high-top
sneakers peaking out from below acid wash jeans reveal the scene as
harkening a time recent enough to feel comfortingly familiar, yet distant
enough to carry the weight of nostalgia. The two bodies seem to merge
into one behind the veil of gyrating forms, constructing a hybrid creature
of limbs and retro fabric. The tangled mass of parent and child implies an
intense intimacy, palpable and untouchable. Dildine’s painting method is
almost digital in its ability to suggest photographic blur, and psychedelic
in its relationship to vision. Elements are copied and pasted within the
domestic scene, never allowing the viewer to forget the manipulation
enacted by digital technology on memories and representations. 

Several paintings feature distorted and hidden faces and the assumption
that below the scratches, spray paint, cutouts and other annihilating
gestures lie the wide smiles of performed domesticity. Dancing
Sharp leaves little opportunity for analysis, and seems to take its
meaning from obfuscation. The composition’s opacity begins with
the deep astronomical abyss replacing one face and continues to the
crocheted mask covering the other’s, while the inversion of the entire
image forces a disorientation and sense of doom. Damn Matte takes
the sacrilegious approach of desecrating an infant’s visage, his joyful
laughter replaced by disruptive gashes of men’s shirt fabric, seemingly
displaced from another location, work of art or recollection. 

We don’t learn much about Dildine’s upbringing from his artwork;
rather, we are invited to confront our relationship to personal history
and the ways that we have gotten used to superimposing the domestic
space onto the public sphere, gaining and losing meaning in the
process. Dildine reminds us that despite our access to information,
truly intimate moments remain quarantined in psychic seclusion.
(May 21 – July 8, 2015)

Amities Fly Review by Amy Lin @ Widewalls


Amy Lin


New body of work by Joshua Dildine will soon be on display at Mark Moore gallery in Culver City. Amities Fly exhibition depicts past events and relationships while confronting the typical ideas of nostalgia and representation. Joshua Dildine uses the images from the past, mostly his own childhood to create experiences that are at the same time present and departed. Amities Fly is a powerful testimony of an artist childhood depicted in imagery that resides between abstract expressionism masterpieces and personal memorabilia, but also relates with everyone nostalgic for their young carefree days.

Joshua Dildine’s Abstract Imagery

Joshua Dildine is an artist that skillfully employs the omnipresent aesthetic of the amateur photography in contrast with his lively administration of bold color palettes and textures. The artist faded childhood photos, taken decades ago represent the base of Joshua Dildine abstract imagery. These photographs are first printed on canvases and then painted over in vivid colors. The artist uses energetic brushstrokes to change the image to the point of obscurity and create his unique pieces that reminds us of the abstract expressionism artworks from the eighties. Careful application of acrylic, oil, and spray paints transforms Joshua Dildine’s personal images into universally recognized abstract works. The artist approaches his paintings with a parental care and emphasizes the characteristics of our shared humanity such as humor, endearment or aggravation. And as time affects memories events or emotions from the past no longer seem as severe as they once were.

Nostalgia at Amities Fly Exhibition

Similar to memories, Joshua Dildine artworks are packed with sensual energy and mystery as he paints over his adventures from the past days. His rich vivid color palette suggests the absurdity of obsessive introspection and constant examination of the past, a practice widely present in modern society. The artist cleverly depicts emotions altered with time. The humorous side of compromising, beauty found in annoyance, or conflicts present in the absent is often recognized in Amities Fly artworks. Seeking to make his painting universal the artist portrays emotions that everyone can relate to. It doesn’t matter water he suggests extreme happiness, paralyzing fear or sudden shame his works have the power to evoke intense feelings deeply buried within the viewer.

Amities Fly at At Mark Moore Gallery in Culver City

Amities Fly solo exhibition by Joshua Dildine will open on July 23, 2015. This will be his second solo show at Mark Moore gallery for the Los Angeles based artist having exhibited in the same space in 2013. Public reception with the artist will be held the opening day from 7 pm till 9 pm. Merging found autobiographical photographs with viciously intuitive painting will undoubtedly provoke pleasant remembrances and sentimentality of visitors at Mark Moore gallery. Amities Fly exhibition at Mark Moore gallery in Culver City  closes on August 29, 2015.

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“Notating Hi Pops” @ Freight and Volume

Joshua Dildine

 “Notating Hi Pops”

May 21 – June 20, 2015Opening reception: 
Thursday, May 21, 2015, 6-9pm

Freight + Volume is very pleased to present the first east coast solo of LA painter Joshua Dildine, titled Notating Hi Pops. Casting a wry and languid glance at appropriation, and picking up where the “Pictures” generation left off, Dildine’s new paintings have a reckless yet controlled flair, which utilize autobiographical family album photographs - including prom pictures, wedding pictures, baby’s first step, vacation memories, etc. - and turn sentiment and nostalgia on its head.  His visceral gesture and accelerated brushstroke are loaded with sensual energy, harkening to the Ab-Ex days of pure delight and mystery in paint, yet placing these gestures on top of faded, kitchy, sometimes cloying memorabilia.  The fifties photo meets the fifties painting yet the end result inhabits a quintessentially new timeline – an artist’s 2015 Facebook universe gone awry.

Dildine also toys with perspective quite literally.  In works humorously titled (a la Ogden Nash or ee cummings poems), “Dang Darn Pad and Odd” and “A Bad Dodger Shunts Tot”, the artist turns the horizon upside down and suggests an implosion of worlds colliding: interior facing off with exterior.  The brushstroke careens this way and that and leads us in and out of memory, into the present and beyond.  Like a Jetson’s tour through Ab-Ex painting, Dildine seems to say – buckle up and follow me through a Cliff Notes speed read of 50s, 60s ,70s and even 80s expressionism – and hang on tight.  It’s a Fun House hall of mirrors and we, as viewers, are simply along for the ride, roller coaster style, with the artist as our fearless guide.
The artist explains, I confront the subject of conventional recollection and familial structure. A fixation shared by society at large, the contemplation of past events and relationships ultimately shapes our psychology moving forward - as a flicker of nostalgia, shame, or glee can be activated by a single sensory cue. I like to mine these memories for the underlying traits that forge our shared humanity: the humor found in the compromising, the endearment found in the aggravating, or the conflict found in the absent.

In Notating Hi Pops, Dildine’s painterly swaths are as visceral as the family photos they conceal; his vivid palette alludes to the glaring absurdity of our incessant self-analysis and contemplation of the past. The artist embellishes elements or patterns within the original image in order to create a farcical confrontation with the past - a perspective that is both critical and celebratory. Through this carefully disjointed lens, Dildine creates experiences that are at once present and bygone, and whimsically harness the nature of our being.
Josh Dildine (b. 1984) grew up in Fresno, Central California. He had a lifted bronco that he rebuilt in High School, an athletic family, and a conservative church up-bringing. He received his BA from Pepperdine University and his MFA from Claremont Graduate University (CA). He has been featured in solo exhibitions in Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego and Nashville, as well as several group exhibitions nationwide. He was also the recipient of the 2010 Claremont Graduate University Award. The artist lives and works in Southern California.

Please join us as we celebrate Josh’s first solo in NYC on Thursday, May 21st from 6-9pm. For more information please contact Nick Lawrence via email - or call 212-691-7700.

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