Griffin Goodman

I’m a Rubber Chicken, Watch Me Fly
June 4 – July 17, 2021
Gallery One

Exhibition Text

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ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce I’m a Rubber Chicken, Watch Me Fly, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Griffin Goodman in Gallery One. The exhibition opens Friday, June 4, and continues through Saturday, July 17, 2021. This is the artist’s solo first exhibition with the gallery.

Incorporating the iconography of youth culture, popular branding and logos, and well-known personalities, Goodman’s paintings and drawings present a complex devotion to self-styled identity and the contemporary phenomenon of digital narcissism. Through free-form juxtapositions of appropriated imagery sourced from popular culture and art history, the artist creates bricolages that speak to both the hyper-layered construction of Photoshop files and the densely metaphoric structure of Pop Art.

Drawing from personal memories of his childhood, the work celebrates the ubiquitous loss of innocence experienced in the fundamental transition from adolescence to young adulthood, where the escape from the reality into a rich fantasy life is still a possibility. Goodman’s paintings have previously focused on subverting the narratives of traditional fairy tales. His newest works continue to draw from popular culture while deepening the pool of references and encapsulating a wider range of tonalities.

At a young age, Goodman was exposed to the comedy of the Marx Brothers and The Three Stooges, the characters of Sid and Marty Krofft, and Saturday morning cartoons. The experience of watching these programs, juxtaposed with the urban landscape of his native Detroit, shaped his burgeoning aesthetic and informs his practice today.

Familiar objects from the heyday of prop comedy such as chattering teeth, rubber chickens, and the iconic glasses made famous by Groucho Marx make regular appearances in the artist’s newest paintings. They are re-contextualized to create a language of their own. Goodman distills and remixes these references in equally humorous and sincere ways, addressing issues of anxiety, isolation, desire, masculinity, and the role of the visual artist today.

Continuing to employ the hyper-iterative strategies of his earlier paintings, Goodman references Warhol but also Where’s Waldo?, creating a densely-layered landscape of signs, symbols, and possible plot lines, giving the viewer a chance to dive into his world of escape and search for themselves. These newest works speak directly to our collective experiences, especially of the past year. Awash in information overload yet often isolated or alone, we are incessantly riddled with both possibility and contradictions.

GRIFFIN GOODMAN (American, b. 1995) lives and works in Chicago, IL. He received an MFA in 2019, from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in 2017, from Ringling College of Art and Design. He has had recent group exhibitions at the Sarasota Art Center (Sarasota, FL), Jaw Gallery (Yamaguchi, JP), and the Elmhurst Art Museum (Chicago, IL). This is his first exhibition with the gallery.