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Slag Contemporary is pleased to announce “The Humble Origins of Our Lofty Convictions”, a two-artist exhibition presenting works by Jason Clay Lewis and Andrew Sroka.
Jason Clay Lewis
“As an artist, my approach has always been, intentionally, to confound and challenge attempts to make things fit into what we already know and think. I strive to question perceived beauty, passion, life, death, and creation. I have an urgent conviction that art is a passionate and essential affair, as if a matter of life and death, where one senses the only response to death is art. Without glossing over the violence of the natural world I asks questions about man's suicidal folly, the one we call progress, a merger into a pathetic religion of commerce and profit, of false facades, and using a strategy to make us reconsider our world of visual imagery. I tinker with these visual explanations, trying to give them purpose, direction, and meaning. Always perfectly aware that knowing this constant probing does not have a sequence to a perfect solution. Atypical and fascinating, as an adventurer blending expression, analysis, and experience, I use every means and media available to explore the love of knowledge and depict limits, while trying to push those limits even farther. My interest in unique materials helps to develop my ideas of attraction verses repulsion allowing my work to have both a strong visceral feeling while maintaining a direct cerebral presence.“
Jason Clay Lewis came to New York in 1991 on a scholarship and internship at Universal Limited Art Editions. From 1992 - 1994 he worked with Jasper Johns as his personal studio assistant. Continuing his education, he graduated from The Cooper Union with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1997. His work has appeared and reviewed in publications including Art In America, World of Art, Art On Paper and ZINK Magazine.
In March 2012, his work has been included in an exhibition at the Imperial Belvedere Palace Museum in Vienna, Austria. Curated by Thomas Zaunschirm, the show is called GOLD and will have artists such as Damian Hirst, Marc Quinn, Chris Burden, Anish Kapoor, Chris Ofili and Sigmar Polke. "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt, will open the exhibition.
“Within the traditions of street photography and classical portraiture, these images play between documentation and imagination, pushing photography’s boundaries towards painting - real characters with suggested histories, their story told through a palimpsest of layers, marks and fading identity.”
Sroka’s works combine photographic images, painting, wax and rust. Firstly, his “impure medium” obscures the viewer’s reading and understanding of his pictures, allowing only gradually the initial perception of an illusion to be dispersed. The smear and blur suspend the temporality of the subject and instill the surface with emotion and mystery, equally making a Kantian point: the dual-view aspect of the “thing-in-itself”.