Carlos Gallery, Sewanee, TN
105 Kennerly Road, Sewanee, Tennessee 37375
Gallery hours: Monday - Friday 8:00AM - 5:00PM, Saturday and Sunday 1:00 - 5:00P
Note: The Gallery will be closed Wednesday, Aoril 10, 2019 from 9:00-11:00 AM
The exhibition, Cheerful Nightmares, has a peculiar premise by building on the idea of false happiness. False happiness is the act “of putting on or inducing, a robust and cheerful front in the face of depression and despair”, says Perkins, and explains that he conveys this feeling to the viewer through the use of traditionally ‘innocent’ and ‘cheerful’ materials such as glitter and crayons. Both these materials imply happiness or innocence. They are prolifically scattered throughout the paintings, bleeding through color spaces and across collaged objects and surfaces. But, despite the happy feelings the works evoke, there are darker undertones covered up by the glitter and other ‘cheerful materials’. These darker undertones are beneath layers of resin, glitter, and bright colors, which are occluded but not hidden from the viewer.
The materials utilized in these works are primarily found objects. They are interwoven into pieces, covered in glitter, coated in resin, and plastered with anachronistic photographs. With these alterations, and their incorporation into the work, the materials build a narrative in each piece, echoing echoes the physical tensions of the work. Beneath the surface, we perceive darker tales, some taken from history and others from the artist’s personal life. Each piece is built from a blueprint of sorts. These blueprints are drawn from masterworks of art by artists such as Van Gogh or Monet. Speaking of this process, Perkins says that “the original masterwork is deconstructed, taken apart, down to its most basic concepts and outline. Then it is rebuilt from the ground up, recreated as a piece that tells a story of false happiness. By doing this, each piece is as unsettling as it is timeless.”
Barton Perkins, born and raised in Birmingham AL, is completing a double major in Art and English with a certificate in creative writing.