New works from Alexandros Vasmoulakis
Project Room: ‘unentitled’
Paintings by j.frede
6023 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
February 9th – 23rd, 2013
Artist reception: Saturday, February 9th, 6-9p
Culver City, CA – LeBasse Projects is proud to announce two new painting exhibitions by multi-disciplinary artists Alexandros Vasmoulakis and j.frede. The main room will feature muralist and installation artist Vasmoulakis and his new series, “Figures,” comprised of compelling figural work partly inspired by the tradition of portraiture. In the project room, Los Angeles artist j.frede presents “unentitled,” which contemplates communication and language with text-based imagery.
Vasmoulakis’ paintings contain many layers—physically, in terms of their thick impasto and textural buildup of paint, and also metaphorically. At the outset, the figures are smiling, a nod to the traditional purpose of portraiture as a showcase of one’s ideal or idealized comportment. However, the grinning and laughing expressions are menacingly exaggerated and recall the distorted visages of tortured souls in Francis Bacon’s deeply psychological portraits and self-portraits. In the case of Vasmoulakis’ personas, the turmoil does not come from an inner psyche, but from the outside influences of contemporary society, consumer culture and the media machine as the figures vapidly laugh, pose and posture.
j.frede explores expression in the form of the English alphabet and its ability to communicate—or not. In “unentitled,” j.frede takes the English alphabet and overlays each letter on top of one another, creating colorful paintings of nebulous shapes that change depending on the font chosen. In theory, one could transpose the characters and decode the meaning and answer to every question one could ever ask. In actuality, the letters have become a molten, unrecognizable silhouette that offers no answers. j.frede proposes that perhaps we are not entitled, or “unentitled,” to such simple solutions.
Vasmoulakis and j.frede have denuded time-honored traditions of their meaning in order to make us see them anew. The two artists obfuscate the original purposes of portraiture and language in order to achieve clarity about the way we perceive ourselves and others, and the manner in which we communicate with each other.