Repackaged by Richard Garrison
Opening reception: October 11, 2013, 6-9pm
Circular Color Scheme: Christmas Tree Shops, May 16-27, 2013 Pages 1 – 16. “Memorial Day”, 2013
Watercolor, gouache and graphite on paper
44" x 44"
Brooklyn, NY – September 12, 2013 – Repackaged is a continuation of Richard Garrison’s analysis of ubiquitous materials, objects and places from the suburban, often consumer related, American landscape, such as Sunday newspaper sale circulars, parking lot colors, product packaging, Disney World and Wal-mart, among others. Garrison's recontextualization of aspects of consumer culture affords us a new perspective on commonplace objects, places and experiences.
In his series titled Circular Color Schemes, (puns intended), Mr. Garrison measures the amount of each color from Sunday newspaper sale circulars and then in concentric rings of color graphs the amount of each color in gouache and watercolor on paper. Each wedge of color in the circle is marked as to which picture of the product it originates from, like "dvd player" or "flat-screen T.V." The resulting compositions look like a cross between a color wheel and a Joseph Albers painting.
Garrison’s Destination Color Schemes document elements of the architecture and its immediate surroundings of shopping centers, strip malls and even Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World, elements include surveillance cameras, concrete walls, signs, and pest control traps. Each color is labeled, arranged and painted in watercolor and gouache in a conventional color chart format, creating a visual equality between each element of the destination.
In his Parking Lot Spaces series Garrison took photos of every parking lot space his vehicle occupied over a 5-month period. He noted the location, time and date each parking space was occupied. Back in his studio Garrison matched the color of each parking lot paving and painted that in a grid with notations of location, time and date below the color. The rectangles of the grid are roughly proportional to an average parking lot space.
The Product Package series takes this process of analysis but instead of rendering each composition in paint, Garrison collages pieces of cereal, toy or garbage bag boxes or any printed cardboard packaging cut into regular rectangles, triangles or squares. These geometric abstractions are composed using only product packaging that comes into the Garrison household through the ordinary process of living, the buying of products needed for everyday life in suburbia, and are dated. So, they act as a record of the amount of any given color that comes into his home.
Through a process of careful scientific-like scrutiny Garrison dissects and restructures the color schemes of common everyday objects, places and experiences. His Minimalist compositions expose the beauty in the banal. Garrison's glorification of the insignificant similar to Zen philosophy is central to his studio practice. Coupled with Hanne Darboven-like analytical quantification and qualification his studio practice offers us a thoughtful re-examination of objects and experiences ubiquitous to the American experience. This deconstruction of quotidian objects and experience is a personal, non-judgmental, examination of the visual, emotional and conceptual aspects of consumerism.
Richard Garrison was born and raised in Albany, NY and received his BS in Studio Art from the College of Saint Rose, Albany in 1993 and an MFA from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in 1995. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA and the Queens Museum of Art. He lives and maintains his studio in the Hudson Valley of New York.