+15 WINDOW EXHIBITION
OCTOBER – NOVEMBER, 1996
RECEPTION: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1996 AT 8 PM
LOCATION – CALGARY CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS
225, 8th Avenue S.E, CALGARY, ALBERTA
I am compiling an inventory of the ridiculous. Humor is a useful entry into difficult ideas; my painting of this year are almost pornographic in their use of seduction and passive display, but they are also just pictures of food. Utopia is as close as the kitchen, and even something as frivolous as a cheese ball with pimento hearts on it might save the life of a starving man. I am fascinated by our culture’s compulsion to remake everything in its own image through anthropomorphism, decoration, and disguise, and although my work attempts to look at this tendency in a critical way, I am seduced by the images I use in exactly the way they were designed to seduce. This to me, is as funny as anything else.
I work from illustrations found on dated recipe cards. It is important to acknowledge the photographic source of my images, but it is imperative that these images find a new life as paintings or drawings. Most of my studio time is used in trying to establish a balance between photography and paint. The flatness, cropping, and degraded colour that make my source images that they are may not necessarily make for successful paintings, but it is precisely these qualities that make me want to paint them. The challenge of finding a suitable translation for canvas keeps me interested in what might otherwise be a dull exercise in copying.
-Rene Joshi, 1996