A Peep At The ‘Peep Show’
Artists Dede Brown and Dylan Rapillard present two sides of a somewhat introspective coin in “Peep Show,” the third installment in a series of exhibitions held by the couple over the past three years.
The show opens with a reception at Popopstudios on Friday, May 13, and features the latest work from both artists.
Where Brown takes a light-hearted yet layered look at representations of women in the world of fashion in paintings and drawings, Rapillard searches for meaning in the increasingly isolating nature of virtual reality in his paintings.
Their different styles – Brown’s more realistic works and Rapillard’s expressionistic works – complement each other as in the couple’s past exhibitions held at the Central Bank Art Gallery. Common themes, colors and patterns also give a sense of unity to the pieces without restricting the expression of each artist, the couple said.
“I think it’s great that taht we are able to work together and not kill each other,” laughed Brown in an interview earlier this week. She and Rapillard also share a studio at Popop.
“There’s definitely an advantage to being a couple and working together. I feel like doing a show together you can work as a team and knock things out together as opposed to doing it all by yourself?’
In a lingering look at a subject from the couple’s show last year, Brown continues her treatment of fashion models as marionettes. Her stark black and white oil on canvas paintings, accented by strategically placed lusciously red cherries, poke mischief at a supposed ideal.
“I’m still exploring this ‘whole cherries and puppets theme that I have and it’s just been really fun,” she said.
“It’s basically commentary on women in pop culture. A lot of my images are references, they come from fashion spreads, because I’m very fascinated with fashion and how it depicts the female figure as such an unreal thing; they all look like puppets”
The artist’s pencil and ink drawings on paper, with their looser lines, show a freer side.
“It’s a like a battle for me to loosen up, it’s very difficult so it’s kind of like this play between me being very detail-oriented and clean but also wanting to loosen up and have looser lines and be a little bit more free,” she said.
Rapillard’s female portraits take another turn. He uses self portraits from public profiles on Facebook to create images that comment on I the irony of a lack of actual socializing on social networking websites.
“This virtual society isn’t really making us more sociable, it’s making us know people that we don’t know,” said Rapillard, who went from friend to friend until he found himself viewing the open profiles of strangers.
“I feel that the Facebook phenomenon is more or less people thinking that they’re their own movie stars, and the virtual aspect of it actually comes down to a psychological aspect. You become anxious if you post a picture online and there are only 10 people commenting on it or two hours later nobody’s said anything,” he said:
The show will also include installations by both artists, a new element to their joint exhibitions. Brown will show her experimental three-dimensional work while Rapillard’s functional photo booth installation will serve as an ‘expansion of his Facebook portrait-inspired paintings.
Unlike the couple’s paintings and drawings, which will hang in the Popop gallery, the installations will occupy John Cox’s freestanding studio on the property. The artists want the garden space between both exhibits to act as a passage allowing viewers to see all of the art comfortably.
“I think it’s going to be interesting,” said Rapillard. “It’s going to be something different than just going to a show with just paintings on the wall … It’ll be a whole experience.”
By Thea Rutherford,
The Nassau Guardian