The City Real and Imagined: Urbanism, Identity, and Identification
Work by Amze Emmons, Drew Leshko, Roberto Lugo, Mat Tomezsko and guest artist Jesse Krimes
InLiquid presents The City Real & Imagined: Urbanism, Identity, and Identification, a group show featuring the work of six artists at the Painted Bride Art Center. Drawing inspiration from direct interaction with the urban environment, each artist’s work uniquely addresses issues surrounding identity formation, perception, and social consciousness. The exhibition features InLiquid artist members Amze Emmons, Drew Leshko, Roberto Lugo, and Mat Tomezsko, as well as guest artist Jesse Krimes. This exhibition is part of InLiquid’s Art For Action program, which uses art exhibitions as a platform for dialog, community events, and social awareness efforts.
Amze Emmons uses bright and lively pastel hues and detailed linework to depict familiar scenes of abandonment and decay typical of a post-industrial landscape. The contrived cheeriness of the scenes invites the viewer in to take a deeper look into an often neglected world. Drew Leshko also invites contemplation with his intricate replicas of buildings located in Kensington. The sculptures provide a three dimensional archive of the local structures of a neighborhood in transition. The work examines gentrification and history, how historical relevance is determined, and most importantly, what is worth preserving.
Ceramicist Roberto Lugo and painter Mat Tomezsko (both featured artists of InLiquid’s Juvenile In Justice) present I Was Of Three Minds: Understanding America Through Bluebirds and Blackbirds, a joint project based on their individual interpretations of how race and class are metaphorically represented in the US. Their introspective work examines the role external elements have in determining the construction of identity, and reflects upon the intrinsic interpersonal relationships between groups of people in society. Their project is interwoven by the fact that they are working from the same theme, but their distinctive visual responses are shaped by their different life experiences, perspectives, and chosen mediums.
While serving a 70-month prison term, Jesse Krimes developed unique methods of drawing, painting, and printmaking. He used clippings from newspapers and compositions from Art History textbooks to examine issues of dehumanization, objectification, celebrity worship, identity formation, and mass incarceration.
The work was made using a limited range of practical materials like hair gel and colored pencils on prison sheets, offering insight into the world in which it was created and instilling significance on the materials themselves to convey meaning.