Normal: Peter Drake, Carson Fox, Elliott Green, David Humphrey, Jon Waldo
Organized by: Peter Drake & Linda Warren
January 12th – February 23rd, 2007
Most people want to be normal. They want to fit in, to be a part of the status quo, in effect to disappear. To be normal is to fly under the radar and escape life unscathed. A smaller group of people do whatever they can to avoid being normal. They define themselves in opposition to the status quo. To disappear is to die; to stand out is to live forever. A third very small group of people are so desperate to fit in, so adamant in their need to slip into the mainstream that they stand out despite themselves. They wear their normalness the way a Martian wears a human suit. Their every gesture and action seems rehearsed as if they were coached in the etiquette of normal behavior. These are the “meta normals.” Their gardens are too perfect, their hedges too well trimmed and their normalcy is so strident it becomes almost hallucinogenic. This is “Stepford” squared.
“Normal” seeks to examine this phenomenon in the works of Peter Drake, Carson Fox, David Humphrey, Elliott Green, and Jon Waldo. Each in their own way tests the limits of what it means to be normal and then goes a step further.
In the acid colors and the hyper reality of Peter Drake’s paintings, Ozzie and Harriett meet David Lynch in an uncertain middle ground. The shear over abundance of flowers, butterflies and glitter in Carson Fox’s installation brings exquisite beauty to the brink of nausea. The everyman in Elliott Green’s paintings seems to hemorrhage his worst fears and deepest desires. Garage art and everyday bric-a-brac gets extruded into David Humphrey’s paintings where they end up in a landscape of molten fudge and depraved puppies. Jon Waldo makes a psychedelic jigsaw out of Howard Johnson signs and phone booths bringing a hallucinatory edge to the most banal.
Everything in “Normal” starts out with the familiar, the everyday, and the overlooked and ends up somewhere else.
– Peter Drake