ASHES/ASHES is pleased to present Chaos Pony, a solo exhibition by Chloe Seibert. The exhibition will be on view from May 6th to June 26th, 2022, with an opening on Friday, May 6th, from 6–8 pm. Gallery hours are Wednesday—Sunday, 12–6pm.
Wrought by physical labor and cathartic release, Chloe Seibert’s sculptures depict faces in moments of erupting pathos. Her mythical beasts possess a seductive and sinister appeal, looming large like the memory of a childhood fable, giving a face to the shadow side of humanity. The immediacy of her mediums, plaster and clay, become conductors for chaos itself.
Within the installation, monumental Venetian masks leer at the viewer from the walls with toothy grins. These works mischievously straddle sculpture and painting, as well as acting as visual metaphors for the tension between divine fantasy and perceived reality. Expressions are rendered quickly and freely, in a fit of rebellion; they force together the languages of traditional sculpture, the anarchic impulse of graffiti, and the theatrics of masquerade. Despite our appearances, they say, we are all inherently wild things.
Drawing from her past work in warehouses, trucking, and as an art laborer, Seibert affixes metal chains and crate handles into a plaster fresco. Formed of visceral grabs, slaps and slathers, these industrial materials are the sinews of our built and logistical world, our “outside body.” Seibert’s practice both celebrates and problematizes this outside body, contrasting it with an interior fire.
Polished helmets populate the installation, ready to be donned for play or battle. Seibert makes clear that jouissance often erupts from the same Janus-faced impulse. The anthropomorphized helmets evoke Miyazaki as much as they do ancient Greek mythology. Chaos Pony explores the tensions between our organic and inorganic bodies, our interior and public selves, and the life force pulsating through it all. If defiant Prometheus fashioned humanity from clay, Seibert uses the same prima materia to reflect our riotous nature back to us.
– Paul Heyer
Chloe Seibert (b. 1989; Queens, NY) lives and works in Queens, NY. She received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute (Chicago, IL). She has had solo exhibitions at: No Place Gallery, Columbus, OH; Mickey, Chicago, IL; Queer Thoughts, Chicago, IL and New York, NY; Efrain Lopez Gallery, Chicago, IL; COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, NY; and Courtney Blades, Chicago, IL. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at: Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY; SUNNY, New York, NY; Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Karma International, Los Angeles, CA; Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA; Balice Hertling, Paris, France; Galerie Hussenot, Paris, France; David Shelton Gallery, Houston, TX; Bodega, New York, NY; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL. Her work has been featured and reviewed in The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Newcity, and Art Papers, among others.
East Hampton Shed
Jordan Rhoat and Brad Phillips
Jordan Rhoat and Brad Phillips both paint with a sense of humor and spirituality. These two artists are using the same tools to produce markedly different content, it is how each concern manifests within the practices which sets them apart. Rhoat effectively translates photography’s marrow into paint, consistently foregrounding objectivity via innocuous still lives. Phillips maintains rather opaque intentions, bumper sticker sentimentalism and here-and-nowness endure as constants.
Jordan Rhoat’s compositions edge on luminance, but always succumb to flatness. He foregrounds, producing cold images. Rhoat sources photos from local Craigslist postings. In this framework, the seller is moved to sell an object, not necessarily thinking about the creation of a compelling photograph. He is certainly working in opposition to iconography, seeking reference images that are consigned to a local aspect. With just plain water he pivots slightly, selecting an object from his own context rather than solely appropriating found images. He inputs the carton into a Morandi inspired setting in service of an explicit and didactic one-to-one gesture.
After selecting his subject, Rhoat strives to evoke image vitality by washing content out, and meditating on the picture plane. Flash photography is implicated within the canvas, outdated technologies and pixelation translated into paint. While he finds inspiration in the work of figures like Luc Tuymans, Rhoat’s paintings are markedly slow. He waters down his acrylics and amasses layers of paint to the degree at which they almost become watercolors, thus achieving a satisfactory wash. He engages with paintings as he does a certain meditation in which one is meant to stare at a wall for an extended period of time. With eyes unblinking, details tend to disintegrate and fade into whiteness. These paintings are thus diluted, caught in between clarity and erosion.
In Brad Phillips’s work, figuration and text operate as both narrative devices and artifacts of the artist’s psychological landscape. A parodic yin yang expresses the mass circulated imagery denoting balance, each swapped for a Snoopy. His proficiency as a writer comes to the fore in his painting practice weilding a predilection for syntax and typography in order to conceive funny poetics and a lighthearted reprieve from a culture slouching toward nihilism. 11/09/2021 borrows its typeface from the looming Chateau Marmont sign on Sunset Boulevard. In an untitled painting Phillips depicts a woman apparently hammering a rose to the wall. Across the back of her T-shirt the phrase “WHAT THE FUCK IS REALLY GOING ON” is rendered in Cooper Black and borrowed from a chance encounter at a nearby psych ward where he saw someone wearing a shirt with this phrase written in sharpie.
Material concerns are necessary, though Phillips’s main motivation is to visualize ideas and formalize concepts. His painting is informed by his writing practice; a lexicon concretized in oils and watercolors, formalism communicated in font and color. He mobilizes thoughts and writing in values and gestures. This is a mode of activating matter into concepts and then dimensional material; a transformation in stages. Revelations emerge over time, after the painting has been labored over.
Each artist endeavors to translate something particular onto the canvas - whether it be image or concept. Jordan Rhoat underscores and transcends banality by submitting to it fully. Brad Phillips is careful not to foist any hard and fast opinions via paint, his practice instead offers a lighthearted reprieve from the doom-laden news cycle.