Installation View of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles at Art Brussels 2012 featuring Christopher Russell
LUIS DE JESUS LOS ANGELES is very pleased to announce our participation in ART BRUSSELS 2012, STAND 3D-43 with a solo presentation of new works by CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL to be presented at the Brussels Expo from April 18 – 22, 2012.
Christopher Russell employs photography, drawing, writing, bookmaking, and digital printmaking to create all-encompassing environments that challenge the traditional divide between these practices and expand the very idea of a book. In his trademark style, Russell wrote and produced a unique, one-of-a-kind storybook, titled “Remains”, that combines intricate original drawings and hand-lettered text scripted by the artist. Russell's text uses Nicephore Niépce and H.P. Blavatsky as characters in an historical fiction that explores chance as an intervening force against the claim of exceptionalism. In "Remains", the occult emerges as a metaphor for protest, while the "death of photography" becomes an allegory of systems rigged to fail.
The book informs a separate group of digitally manipulated photographs scratched into with intricate and elaborate drawings, a process that uses an X-acto knife to remove the (top) image layer of the print, creating a contrast between the plastic surface of the photograph and the fuzzy texture of white paper underneath. Traveling through his home city, Russell photographed details of the Art Deco architecture that Los Angles is known for. These images became source material for his "pile" drawings, whimsical renditions of demolished patterns that question the industrial exuberance associated with Art Deco but with the addition of more romantic elements, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, famous for its excess, symbolic of power and synonymous with fraud.
Also on exhibit will be new works from "Runaway", an exploration of the darker side of the human psyche, using photographs as a drawing surface and negotiating Romanticism within the post-modern frame of mechanical reproduction. Russell presents the original fictional "Runaway" story, as a text-based wallpaper, reproducing Maurice Pillard Verneuil's pattern "Bats and Poppies", with each letter of the text operating as a pixel to create the overall image. Through images of ships, trees and repeating patterns that relate to longing for and domestication of new experiences--an unending desire for the unattainable. Russell likens childhood fantasies of running away to ideas of avant-garde utopias and horror movies in the disquieting calm for which he has become known. In “Runaway”, monsters are stable, cataloged entities, aesthetes are found wandering the roadside, and the apocalypse offers the greatest personal hope.