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Christian Little’s “Exhibitionists” at Sara Nightingale Gallery
January 30, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sara Nightingale Gallery is pleased to present Christian Little, Exhibitionists, opening Saturday, Jan. 30th from 5 – 7 p.m.
This opening was originally scheduled for Jan. 23 but was postponed due to snow.
Christian Little’s recent body of work examines a voyeur culture preoccupied with sex, drama and the lives of others. His acrylic paintings on wood panel are intended, not to offer a representation of “reality”, but rather, to suggest simulations of imagined actualities. The paintings are simultaneously voyeuristic and participatory, erotic and sterile, stiff and fluid, analytic and absurd.
Little’s Exhibitionists series, in which he places human “sculptures”on top of pedestals, references shunga (spring drawings), a form of Japanese erotic ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the 18th Century. However, while most shunga contain sexually explicit imagery, Little’s Exhibitionists paintings create sexual innuendo using abstraction and an elaborate combination of painting styles to depict his figures and their implied activities. Hair pulling, straddling, the lifting of fabric, movement under that fabric, smoking, etc… are some of the pursuits of his willing protagonists. The figures in the paintings seem unaware that they are being watched, though it is clear they are putting on a show for a suggested audience, viewers in an art gallery or museum, perhaps, an ironic jab at the human desire for immortality. Contemporary culture’s addiction to over-sharing is also implied in the format of the paintings; their square shapes mimic Instagram and profile pics.
Little challenges the dimensional limitations of traditional painting through the use of trompe l’oeil and decorative painting techniques, using paint self-consciously to address painting’s history. Faux finishing techniques and simulated textures act as visual anchors in these wildly mannered works, alluding to the material world as well as the virtual and imagined.
Little received his MFA from SUNY, New Paltz in 2015. He has exhibited with Sara Nightingale Gallery since 2009.
The exhibition will be on view through Feb. 20. For more information and images contact Sara Nightingale by replying to this email. 631-793-2256