Like the Spice Gallery is proud to announce the return of artist Jason Bryant with the all-new work of Love’s Labor Lost. Love’s Labor Lost hangs from our white walls like cinema from a screen, an imperfect copy that still seems bigger than life.
Jason's black-and-white oils recontextualize film stills and contemporary magazine photos, creating glamour while using pixels to skewer the idea of an individual self. Hand-made stretchers force the imagery into space while explicitly cropping the apparition. The viewer is led astray by the veiled eyes, allowing memory to convert the illegible stimuli into his own image. The nameless heroes and heroines stand in a familiar narrative rooted in Hollywood-style memories, but here disassembled into little shards of the real. Like seeing a superstar dressed down at the grocery, you will be telling yourself "Oh, that can't be her... can it?"
Restraining the mind's impulse to constantly wander is a demanding task in New York City, the land of media and distractions. Bryant quells overindulgent instincts by cropping the perceptive potential. Taking his subjects out of their respective advertisements or stills, Bryant focuses on the individual rather than their task at hand. In lieu of depleted eyeballs, the viewer discovers the spectral synopsis of someone they thought they knew.
This new direction builds on Jason's previous work, continuing his exploration of clothing as a discarded layer of identity. His central conceit is the reclamation of the portrait, allowing viewers aggressively sharp identifiers that are controlled through the addition and subtraction of important data. Bryant uses his audience's attachment to film and celebrity to tap into a similarly perceptual cognizance. This mission continues in his new work despite the introduction of more clues, often times including details of the face and body as a kind of visual evidence. Bryant's romantic fascination with cinema blossoms from the cyclical filters of the industry where insight into the subject, the characters played, and how invested these characters are in the scene is wholly concealed. Each image becomes a bevy of body language and expressive signals, ranging from the feminine purse of lips or aggressively taut hands.
Love’s Labor Lost is evenly hazy and glossy, like cigarette smoke in a movie projector's light. We are being told a story, an imperfect copy that comes from the way a stranger remembers what they saw. The images here have been coerced into a space and time that we can name ourselves: the 40s, the 80s, the now, a better tomorrow, all pixilated and concealed. With all of their self-imposed filters, Bryant's images recall the obscurity of imaginings and the mask of memory; oftentimes while rejecting poignant details or plot all together, dreams provoke waking attachments. They resemble residual images infiltrating the mind after a generous night of counting sheep. Love’s Labor Lost is a peek at overheard dreams, and in this place, all our interpretations are equally correct.
Added by Like the spice on February 19, 2011