July 26 – August 31, 2013
207 East Buffalo Street, Suite 222
Significant Other, the conceptual sequel to Patrick Earl Hammie’s 2008 project Imperfect Colossi, seeks to visualize an effort to reposition institutional power paradigms and ideas of representation. Hammie works to re-present ways in which gender, race and the nude have been historically represented. Adopting body language, narrative, lighting, scale and gesture as metaphors, he reinvents and remixes ideal beauty and heroic nudity.
Hammie states, “Perhaps more than any other form of image-making, figurative painting is often read as a mirror of the time in which it is made; the canvas might be uniquely valued as a type of sociohistorical document. Male artists have historically presented the female nude as a static object and the male nude cloaked in allegory, which aimed to provide forums for culturally sanctioned looking for an understood heterosexual audience. In the absence of allegory, the penis became mostly un-representable as its presence would make vulnerable to critique the idea and signifier of male power. Subsequently, the black male body has been subject to grotesque exaggerations ranging from abject physical features to hypersexual endowment, all of which reinforced white male normativity and command. When one goes down the road of representation in paint, particularly the figurative, and more specifically the nude, there are certain histories and responsibilities to be navigated and acknowledged. What’s at stake here is representation.”
With Significant Other, Hammie suggests two figures as halves of self, using abdication and the will to act as foils to visualize alternatives to masculine traditions, constructions of identity, gender politics and race.