“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.