Indepth Arts News: |
"Carol K. Brown: Pedestrian"
2006-10-11 until 2006-11-04
Nohra Haime Gallery
New York, NY,
USA United States of America
Carol K. Brown’s new series, PEDESTRIAN, on view at the Nohra Haime Gallery from October 11th to November 4th, consists of acrylic paintings on canvas and paper and video clips that capture the lives of anonymous individuals who find themselves, unknowingly, under the scrutinizing eye of the artist. Brown starts by taking photographs which become the source material that she then meticulously reproduces in paint. “The painterly quality of the images, redefines the originals. There is a voyeuristic aspect to this activity because the subjects rarely realize they are being photographed.”
Pe-des-tri-an n. 1. a person who goes or travels on foot. ---adj. 2. going or performed on foot. 3.of or intended for walking. 4. lacking in vitality, imagination or distinction; commonplace; prosaic. *
*Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, 1991
The people depicted in these paintings have become characters in an imaginary play. Against a stark white background, the intensely colored figures are replicated and arranged in groups according to Brown’s “manipulation”, thus creating relationships that never existed, but appear plausible, nonetheless. The artist explains: “As I wander streets I am often amazed at the delicious array of visuals amongst the ‘prosaic.’ The angle of the observed and the observer is constantly shifting. By segregating, duplicating and changing scale of my subject, I am setting up hypothetical relationships, both physical and psychological. My anonymous subjects lie squarely within the realm of the public, but in their isolation, underscored by the intense shadows and ambiguous spaces, they give off very personal, private vibrations.”
Brown’s subjects are captured within an ordinary moment, usually plucked off a crowded sidewalk, always from very public places. She is interested in this relationship between the public and the private. Her rich palette of characters are never at the center of the canvas, but gravitate towards the edges and occupy a small fraction of the space allotted them, reinforcing the isolation in which they exist. Studying these individuals, the observer gets the impression of listening to their innermost thoughts, the constant internal dialogue that everyone can relate to.
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