Bad Moon

December 12, 2008 – January 24, 2009
Gallery One

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Bad Moon, a group exhibition of new work by Steven Husby, Jason Lazarus, Curtis Mann, Esteban Schimpf and Greg Stimac.

Chicago, IL, December 12, 2008 – Andrew Rafacz ends the year with Bad Moon, a look at our current economic, political, and psychological state. The gallery will have a reception for the artists on Friday, December 12, from 5 to 8pm. The exhibition continues through January 24, 2009.

Bad Moon seeks to investigate without an agenda our current social and political climate through several artists’ reactions to recent events. Our interest is to raise questions, bring certain ideas to light, and in some cases find a cathartic and often-humorous place at which to deal with troubled times. None of the artists in the exhibition would be described as ‘political’ in their practice, as they resist agitprop in favor of something more sublime, uncovering their own private moments within a strained public environment.

Painter Steven Husby has created a diptych of geometric abstractions that mimic a wave or curve, suggesting the ebb and flow of the market or simply good times and bad times.

Jason Lazarus’ 2001-2008 (At Rest), a photograph of a human figure lying in a wooded area completely enveloped in a blanket, is included in the exhibition. The figure is wrapped in a self-made cocoon referencing the tendency towards complacency during a time of political frustration or uncertainty.

Curtis Mann uses anonymous, found snapshots taken in places of war and conflict, enlarges them and adds varnish and bleach to their surface, changing the original image. The result is a renewed understanding of the situation at hand, and, though a certain hopefulness is added by the artist, the seriousness and tragedy is not reduced.

For this exhibition, Esteban Schimpf recreates a recent work entitled God, Imagine the Storm on Jupiter. The artist, in reaction to Katrina and natural disasters in general, has spray painted the text that comprises the title on a large bed sheet that is draped from two nails on the gallery wall. His readymade is an attempt at quantifying a large-scale tragedy by employing humor to diffuse the situation.

Finally, Greg Stimac presents Red Diamond, from a new series of conceptual photographic works. Stimac, whose peripatetic practice takes him around the country, has collected a multitude of advertisements from common real estate magazines. Using the found images of foreclosed and reduced properties (with the iconic banner in the upper left corner indicating ‘bank owned,’ ‘reduced’ or other information), Stimac has removed the text and inverted and arranged them into a grid with a diamond-shaped talisman at its center, giving a recognized symbol of our own depressed economy a new meaning, touching on something conspiratorial and sinister.

STEVEN HUSBY (American) lives and works in Chicago. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute in 2003. He had a solo exhibition (12 x 12 series) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in 2007. Recently, he was part of Strange Habit, curated by Luke Batten, at I-Space, Chicago.

JASON LAZARUS (American, b. 1975) lives and works in Chicago. Recent solo exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; D3 Projects, Santa Monica; and Kaune, Sudendorf, Cologne. His photographs have recently been acquired by Bank of America, the Spertus Institute, and the Milwaukee Museum of Art. Andrew Rafacz will exhibit a solo presentation of his work at VOLTANY in March 2009.

CURTIS MANN (American, b. 1979) lives and works in Chicago. He recently had a solo exhibition at Kusseneers Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium. He will have a 12 x 12 solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in 2009. A survey of his work is forthcoming from Aperture, as part of their MP3 series.

ESTEBAN SCHIMPF (American, b. 1986 Bogota, Colombia) lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent group exhibitions include Dollar Store, Kunsthalle Chicago, and INDEX (Directions in Contemporary Photography) at the University of St. Francis, both in Chicago.

GREG STIMAC (American, b. 1976) lives and works in Chicago. Recent exhibitions include Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes, which began at The Walker Museum of Art, Minneapolis, and can currently be seen at The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. His work is currently on view in USA Today, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, an exhibition of works from their permanent collection.

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