Embraces new work by Samuel L. Paden (ARTIST RECEPTION)
We the mortals touch the metals,
the wind, the ocean shores, the stones, knowing they will go on, inert or burning, and I was discovering, naming all these things: it was my destiny to love and say goodbye. —Pablo Neruda, excerpt from Still Another Day
Artist Reception Friday, April 6th, 2018
Doors open at 5:30pm – FREE – 21+
Show Runs April – May 2018
This series revolves around themes that have been surfacing within my work over the last decade and to which my work now orbits. The paintings focus on the male figure as a catalyst for a conversation on the crossroads of my queer identity, patriarchy within American culture, and gender representation. This particular series has evolved out of a reaction to the ways patriarchy in contemporary American Culture expresses control and concern over how males present in society and persistent rigid gender norms. How this manifests certainly varies on many social and economic factors, I am approaching this through my own artistic lens and
experience. By making the male nude the object there is a refocusing of the viewer’s gaze to “strip” if you will, the symbols of male power, They are now presented for the pleasure of the viewer and shown to also be enjoying and celebrating each other. Men gaze and touch each other with delight and passion, but with equitable balance in these intimate moments. It is this tension perhaps that I find fertile ground for disarming and suggesting to the viewer to challenge preconceived beliefs.
Using magazine images cut out from erotica and periodicals, I move images from their original context and place them in a layered abstract manner. I am interested in challenging the viewer’s perception while allowing them to fill in narratives of their own. The surface is treated organically with paint used to reshape, redefine, and sometimes obscure the various images.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Born and raised in Central Africa to an American father and Swedish mother, I spent many years in Brooklyn, New York and overseas in Reykjavik, Iceland before moving to Garden City, ID.—SLP