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Press Release

@ NEXT Art Fair – an invitational exhibition of emerging art
April 25 – 28, 2009

Booth 7-4030
with NEXT Solo Project - Leo Villareal: Diamond Matrix

Conner Contemporary Art looks forward to participating in the inaugural NEXT Art Fair in Chicago.

We are please to present new works by three artists who provocatively employ the human figure to explore the fluidity of identity by revealing complexities underlying social stereotypes.

In the digital print series If I Were President, Joe Ovelman pictures himself as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Posing as the candidates during campaign events, this proclaimed "GWM (gay white male)" artist asks viewers to ponder how individual voters may personally relate to, or identify with, Obama, Clinton and McCain. Modeled on spontaneous photos taken with cell phones by rally spectators, the images express the subtleties of race and gender in American presidential politics.

Zoë Charlton establishes the black female body as the site of racial subversion and sexual empowerment in Undercover (KKK), an ongoing series of drawings in graphite, gouache and gold leaf. Nude female figures posed with hoods and other racially charged props evoke the concept of hiding one's true nature under the sheets. Charlton's pictures evoke complicity and hidden sexuality, themes inspired by the movie "Imitation of Life," in which the daughter of a black maid "passes" as white. Her imagery seduces viewers while challenging them to penetrate beneath the surface of appearances. 

Mary Coble focuses on social stereotypes in hate speech with the Blood Script Portfolio of color photographs from her performance at the recent Pulse New York art fair. 75 insulting words were inklessly tattooed on the artist before a live public audience over two days. Blood impressions on paper were made of each word to generate a monumental set of unique paintings. A portfolio of selected photographs of the performance demonstrates the artist's innovative use of her body as both painting medium and instrument for reproductive imaging. 

> NEXT Solo Projects: Leo Villareal: Diamond Matrix

For NEXT Solo Projects, Leo Villareal continues his exploration of particle animation, cellular automata and complexity theory through his custom pattern generation software with a new, large-scale digital sculpture, "Diamond Matrix." This new sculpture is a 60 node by 60 node grid of tiny but powerful light emitting diodes, each LED smaller than a grain of rice. "Diamond Matrix" takes on an ephemeral quality as the scale of the light producing mechanism is further reduced, virtually disappearing within its black anodized aluminum enclosure. 

Conner Contemporary Art is located in Washington, DC. Our gallery is open by appointment (Spring /Summer 2008) while we renovate our newly acquired 12,000 sq ft building. In the meantime, gallery news and art fair participation is updated frequently on our website.

For further information or appointment, please reach us at: 202-588-8750 /