Guest Curated by Tom Sarver

11/28/2014 - 1/25/2015

Six artists from across the United States explore the nature of obsession. Artworks in painting, sculpture, site-specific installation, video, and performance draw inspiration from personal rituals, cultural trends, and studio practices. Participants include Jeremiah Johnson (Williamsport, PA), Jason Lockyer (Los Angeles, CA), Nathan Margoni (Benton Harbor, MI), Mary Ivy Martin (Brooklyn, NY), Becky Slemmons (Pittsburgh, PA), and Laurie Trok (Pittsburgh, PA).

Jeremiah Johnson creates work that interweaves personal experience, appropriated popular culture and mythological narrative.  A prolific, painter and printmaker, his colorful works serve as a diary of the artist’s reactions and adaptations to an ever-changing world.  Johnson lives and works in Williamsport, PA.

Jason Lockyer makes video animations that zoom the viewer into the miniature world of bugs.  His hand-drawn depictions of insects, with accompanying sounds, express the beautiful and grotesque in parts of the natural world that often go unnoticed.  Lockyer’s creatures explore collaged habitats of doodles and altered photographs, revealing adventures that range from mundane to fantastical.  These journeys often become metaphors for loss, joy and discovery. Lockyer lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Nathan Margoni builds oversized sculptures based on an imaginative exploration of human anatomy. His works are constructed of everyday materials including paint, wood, found fabrics and trash, resulting in assemblages that describe the insecurity of corporeal existence.  His whimsical creations, including representations of ugly toenails, bad breath, and poor digestion, give humor to the serious ailments, both physical and social, of our time.  Margoni lives and works in Benton Harbor, MI.

Mary Ivy Martin’s practice is driven by her personal interactions with trees and plants.  Intimacy is revealed as collected flora is personified and cared for.  Her resulting videos, installations and photographs hint at the symbiotic relationships necessary in a healthy ecosystem.  Martin lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Becky Slemmons works in the disciplines of drawing, painting, video, performance, fibers, glass and sound.  In her work, she searches for truths that are common throughout multiple cultures.  For Obsessions, she will be performing a piece titled, Obsessive love. one mark for each of the 9331 days we have been together… and counting. Her performance will begin at the opening reception and continue through the run of the show. Slemmons lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.

Laurie Trok constructs large-scale installations using cut paper.  Her work involves an intense exploration of the act of drawing in relation to the tactile manipulation of materials.  Her resulting work transforms drawing into three-dimensional form, revealing a play of light as well as her tedious artistic process.  Trok lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.


Obsessions on view at Downtown’s SPACE Gallery