May 27, 2008

Angela Dufresne: Immediately from life

Angela Dufresne's work is included in "Get up off our Knees" at Monya Rowe through June 7th, and presented in a solo show, "Twilight of Mice and Men," at the Kinkead Contemporary in Los Angeles. In the Huffington Post Kimberly Brooks features Dufresne in her weekly "First Person Artist" column.

Kimberly Brooks: How did you personally come to reworking and rewriting history in your work?

Angela Dufresne: It was 1999- I was in Paris at Versailles and was nauseatingly looking around at the Coat of Arms everywhere-the room restorations turns out are paid for by American Investors- another layer of the Skull and Bones classicist need for [Americans] to belong to the European Aristocratic image... Anyway, I realized at that moment: "Screw the cultural history that has been shoved down my throat- I'm making my own." That meant creating my own coat of arms, my own genealogy....populated bastardizations of people and moments I deemed important. It also meant formally- a new set of criteria for meaning and balance.

KB: In a clear nod to Steinbeck, you have a show opening tonite at the Kinkead Gallery in Los Angeles "The Twilight of Mice and Men". How is the current series different than your last?
AD: There is a sort of "Grapes of Wrath", Great Depression feel to the paintings, the light in the work has gone full on twilight, but this was an organic process, unplanned. I titled the show after taking a bird's eye view of the works in the studio. I can't really say how "different" it is, the work is always evolving, changing, but these paintings have their strength in their raw power, their immediacy, their execution is hyper-raw and visibly present, they are unrefined assaults on the senses, perhaps even more so that prior bodies of work. It is also a very figurative show, which to some may seem different but in fact I have always been making paintings of the figure, though some of these pieces are paintings made immediately from life, in combination with film stills. But as I said before, these are the priorities I have, it seams essential to me that paintings have such immediacy.

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