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GEOFFREY CHADSEY  /  RECENT DRAWINGS  /  September 8, 2005 – October 8, 2005  /

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Installation View, 2005

GEOFFREY CHADSEY
Recent Drawings
September 8 – October 8, 2005
 
Opening reception: Thursday, September 8, 2005, 6-8pm
 
The Jack Shainman Gallery is proud to present the first New York solo exhibition of the recent drawings of Geoffrey Chadsey. Working in watercolor pencil on Mylar, Chadsey’s twisted figures blend fashion (both high and hip-hop) and “representative” images of gay life (found via internet chat rooms) to create powerfully disconcerting and humorous images that are characterized by an off-putting sense of the familiar.  Chadsey’s drawings present exotic images of half-dressed figures that–with green skin, green hair, and indeterminate gender race–take on the form of comedic monsters.
 
The wildly incongruous source material of Geoffrey Chadsey’s drawings, leave each image hovering on the tip of the tongue edging toward recognition. A series of fashion models long blond tresses, whose skin is painted and sickly green, are somehow not quite “right.” Struck by the rhetoric of sexual power and attitude that is present in the best media images, Chadsey has mixed the facial features of rap stars such as Snoop Dogg, Juvenile and Lil’ Bow Wow, with these models in a remarkably subtle way. Not seeking a recognizable image Chadsey’s strength comes from his skill at melding a macho sneer with a cocked hip.
 
A second group of drawings presents images of figures on the beach, resting around a pool or in poses derived from Degas’s painting “The Spartans.” In this works, Chadsey circumvents personal narrative, using anonymous images of gay life found on the internet through chat rooms and Googling the word “gay.’ With this as a starting point, Chadsey’s drawings evolve beyond logic to an area of inconsistent and counterintuitive, blending beauty and horror. To a randomly accessed image of older gay men on vacation in a Mexican resort, Chadsey’s adds elements of the facial features of George Washington, Donald Rumsfeld, and his own father. The familiar faces are not identified but their familiarity lends the whole scene a sense of discomfort that acts as counterpoint to its innocuous and festive setting.
 
Description, renders Chadsey’s drawings literal, but misrepresents their psychological edge.  Rendered in purple and green otherworldly flesh tones, his figures have the futuristic appeal that the porcelain flesh of Ingres’ models must have once held.  Challenging our facility to read the signs of masculinity, femininity, race, attitude, and expression Chadsey’s images blend a complex web of emotion and desire.
 
Recent acquisitions include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA (2003) and the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu (2003). Chadsey is also scheduled to have a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu in 2006. Recent group exhibitions include the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, CA (2001), the San Jose Museum of Art, CA (2001) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA.
 
Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.  For additional information and photographic material please contact the gallery at info@jackshainman.com.
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