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The Hall of Minor Letdowns

The Hall of Minor Letdowns
Opens April 17, 2015
Daly 208 Projects, Washington College, Chestertown, MD

When Laura Davis’ muse sleeps, it is more of a depressive withdrawal than a productive rest period. Willful abandonment. The muse has made an agreement to perform inspiration, to be beautiful, redolent of some ineffable ideal. The sleeping muse renegotiates through refusal. Passive aggression. Laura in conflict with her subjects. Subjects objectifying themselves as if to take on the pejorative. Except Laura identifies with her rebellious subjects, and has in fact been the instigator all along.

New grammar is so complicated.

Jason Dunda’s high portraits are the artist’s side of that agreement. Render a likeness of the sitter in a manner that delivers reverence. The portrait served to build a case of social position. Jason’s portraits toy with authority. Undo power. Reverse the script.

Laura Davis and Jason Dunda use traditional types to explode contractual conventions. Heads have rolled. Or exploded. Adornments cost the wearer’s life, or at least identity. Both artists harness materials with similar rebellion. Paint on a canvas describes, but the paint itself wins the attention wars.