Selenas Mountain is pleased to present "Haiku," a solo exhibition by Chicago based artist Ben Foch. The gallery will host an opening reception March 2nd from 7-10pm.
Foch is displaying a suite of six new works that explore his relationship to painting (and art history) by “starting at the beginning” and going back into his own childhood. These new works are about trauma (his own and the collective) and what it was that originally inspired him to begin making work, from copying cartoons on one end of the spectrum, and gang graffiti on the other, with magazines and fashion somewhere in the middle. For any artist, making comes from a desire to communicate, to be heard and seen; in short, to represent one’s self. The chosen imagery, from Newport cigarettes and the Raiders logo, to Garfield and Mickey Mouse on backdrops of Louis Vuitton and red and black lumberjack (to match) are about reclaiming iconography to imbue it with a new (more inclusive) meaning.
Each painting is composed of two syllables. Combined, the exhibition forms a sentence that can be read three different ways. In short, it is a Haiku, with an implied larger cultural relevancy that is rooted in the artist’s personal experience where he attempts to contend with the history of art by auto correcting for the 21st century. In the artists own words “If a postmodern aesthetic can be defined by trying to make the last artwork, a postcolonial aesthetic asks, how do we make the first artwork, again?”
About the artist: Ben Foch is an artist, curator, and collector based in Chicago. His studio work is rooted in a tradition of ‘painting/ non-painting’, employing techniques that can be considered both ‘pop’ and ‘conceptual’, tackling topics from institutional critique to race, class and gender identity politics.
He is Director of YOGA, an artist run exhibition space in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood and Co-Director of 1.5 RMS in Brooklyn, New York for which he received a 2016 Graham Foundation grant.
He has Co-Directed New Capital (Chicago) from 2010-2017 and boyfriends (Chicago) from 2015 - 2017. His expanded role as an artist is reflected in the exhibition venues he directs within communities of artist run spaces creating a context for peer to peer review and finding resources to support underrepresented artists and increasing awareness for gender inequality, POC and queer identified voices.
Ben Foch has created and lead large corporate art programs and advised and shaped emerging private art collections. He is interested in expanding the definition of what it means to be an artist in the 21st Century by participating in all the areas that define the field of cultural production.