Art Reception At Division Jeff Sheridan

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Art Reception At Division   Jeff Sheridan
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Art Reception At Division Jeff Sheridan says
Identity Negotiation
Jeff Sheridan

On view December 1st 2016 - January 13th, 2017
Opening reception 5-7pm Friday, December 2nd
with live music by Eduardo Suastegui

"Modern cultural identity flourishes with styles and fads. Yet what persists is a cold, awkward example of a time period whose living memory fades. What remains are mannequins of the past, placeholders for cultural identity that cater to the long forgotten present. I was drawn to these images because these are empty attempts of the past to fulfill insecure needs for sense of self, frozen in a time no longer applicable to us. They are made even more hollow with the ghostly erasure of the composition. White was used originally to contrast from (and in some cases, interact with) any of the other pigments found on the page, and varying thicknesses are used to allow faint aspects of the underlying image to show through. Facial features are masked by thick brushstrokes.Titles of the pieces are lifted fragments from the ads they're from.The resulting ethereal, ghost-like appearance of these images resonates with me. There is also an unavoidable acknowledgement of the racial whiteness of American ads from the 50s-70s. As cultural changes swept through the past, these images became less and less relevant or realistic. As culture continues to churn, these older images become more relevant to me in a post-Obama America. The dead cultural ideals of the past are resurrected and idolized by sweeping cataclysmic change in a less progressive direction. The resulting images bring forth a silent, sad reality from the past, to the present. The pain of personal individuation. Addiction used either as a wedge in relationships, or a means to unify. Sentimentality used to sell product.

I come to these images because making them sets a part of my cultural identity free. Acknowledging underlying meaning when a layer is added (and therefore removed) allows me to explore differing aspects of the individual outside of their commodities, class, and existence. A new identity is created posthumously, and interpersonal relationships echo forward in time long after their erasure. Relationships stand out more once an attempt at erasure is made. Thus, I attempt to allow these images to renegotiate their own identity, that is, "who is who" in their relationships, long after they were expected to remain faithful to their given identities. Echos of the intended relationships of the original images expand outward, creating stark dissonance between the figure and the commodity."

Jeff was born in Chicago, Illinois, raised in South Florida, and currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
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