by Neil A. Cole
Superheroes in Gotham! Wonder Woman, Thor, Hulk, Batman, Superman and more stand tall at the Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery which presents Deconstructive/Constructive on view from March 20 – April 8, 2015 at 527 West 23rd Street in New York City. A portion of proceeds from the exhibition lithographs will benefit Free Arts NYC, a local organization providing underserved children and families with a unique combination of educational arts and mentoring programs that help them to foster the self-confidence and resiliency needed to realize their fullest potential.
The exhibit features the work of Jason Dussault who is a Vancouver and New York based artist whose practice focuses on combining traditional forms of mosaic with pop-culture characters from his childhood and the present. The works presented recall the power of childhood memories through iconic characters that resonate with human nature’s desire to retain an inner youth. Playful in nature yet anchored to the stringent values of adulthood, Dussault seeks to remind the viewer of a fragility that ultimately leads to self-awareness. This is the artist’s debut solo exhibition in New York. Dussault explains, “Growing up in a small rural Canadian town in the late seventies and early eighties with young parents struggling to find their way, I spent much of my time alone, and the only access to art I had was comic books. I would spend hours trying to redraw these characters. Deconstructive/Constructive is my tribute to comic book art, my first love and inspiration.”
While his appropriated versions of superheroes and other characters known in the mass media hearken back to Pop art of the 1950s and 1960s, they align contemporarily with artists like KAWS, Mitch McGee, Justin Gilzene, Ron English and Invader.
The focal piece of the exhibition is large-scale, homage to the late George Delmerico, legendary Village Voice Art Director titled Deconstructive/Constructive. Dussault’s piece is a recreation of Delmerico’s iconic superhero amalgamation, A Marvel - Ous Evening with Stan Lee, 1972. The pastiche was originally created as a poster for a lecture given by Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee at Carnegie Hall. Dussault has recreated the famous image in a four-panel composite work using his distinctive mosaic style.
Throughout the exhibition Dussault features characters such as Lego Batman and Joker, Superman, Thor, Hulk, and Wonder Woman. By using materials specific to the subject matter, each piece harbors a unique sentiment deeper than the nostalgic surface image. With the use of traditional mosaic media like tile and grout, Dussault also utilizes paint, resin, wood, vinyl, found ceramics, and vintage porcelain to create well-known commercial images of comics and cartoons.
For more information about the artist visit www.jasondussault.com or www.hoerle-guggenheim.com