Violet Hopkins Jimmy Baker
Violet Hopkins 02 April 2010 - 01 May 2010
Foxy Production presents a group exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Jimmy Baker, Sascha Braunig, Tomoo Gokita, and Violet Hopkins that mixes realism and optical fantasy. With very different approaches the artists make familiar images resonate with odd psychic energies: they conjure symbolic and emotive scenes that transform conventional perspectives into hallucinatory visions.
Jimmy Baker’s oil and resin paintings possess a fluidity that at once embraces and flouts figurative norms. With an eye to the history of landscape painting, he projects through a Romantic lens what appear to be war-journalists’ images of plane crashes (one crash site had in fact been “remote viewed” by CIA psychics before being discovered). Baker elides the fantastic and the realistic in these scenes of extreme actions set before backdrops of serene beauty.
Sascha Braunig combines vibrant color and an hypnotic style in paintings that reflect upon illusion and the surface of the image. In dream-like scenes where repetition and patterning are foregrounded, Braunig’s female subjects – with their eyes covered by crystals or replaced by lights – emit an extrasensory glow. Flaring with reflected color, they are iridescent beings whose very skin seems to be a source of psychic power.
Tomoo Gokita’s monochromatic paintings fragment, distort and reconfigure familiar, highly charged images. His black-and-white enamel and spraypaint portraits push figurative disintegration to the limits. His subjects, in the process of disassembling, allow multiple, often enigmatic readings to be made. Black lines on white fields form figures that seem to override the images beneath them, as if Gokita’s paintings were battlegrounds for competing representations.
Violet Hopkins’ works on paper bring inner and outer worlds together: her watercolors on black paper use a Rorschach-like technique to produce beautiful, uncanny images that may be either strange microscopic beings or unknown solar systems. Just like Rorschach’s, Hopkins’ Inkblots demand viewers hook their imaginations into the flows and swirls of color. With a sensibility that mixes Romanticism and skeptical inquiry, Hopkins’ works delve into the metaphysical and symbolic basis of our relationship to abstract forms.
Installation photography by Mark Woods.