Their We Go Statement - Francis Palazzolo


Their We Go SelfOthering

2016 to present


Artist Statement


“Their We Go SelfOthering” is a new series of artworks by Francis Palazzolo that shake-up relationships among people and things. The pieces depict situations much like those in our contemporary material culture, but diverge by inflating the influence of empathic interactions. Palazzolo’s aim is to picture an alternative to the rise of social polarization and alienation. To shift the current paradigm he also uses a comparative arrangement of materials, methods and text. Hence, the paintings emphasize the form of emotional risk-taking.





Description Details


“That Hopey-Changey Stuff”
The reference material for this painting was derived from an act of solidarity with the people of France in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, which occurred during my artist-in-residency at the HAI Art Studio & Gallery. I organized a performance in the gallery with the artist membership that included a marching vigil, holding pens high, and an open discussion. The title appropriates tea partier Sarah Palin. While her words were meant to chide the dreams of Barak Obama, they also capture the turbulent act of hope and change that the painting offers. There are pen shapes made of reflective Mylar all over this painting. In doing so, this collage method of opens-up an experiential mode of reception, as reflection is a means to unify art with everyday life. They were attached throughout the various stages and layers of adding paint. The result injects a cloud of creativity into the focus of the mirror.


Needling
The reference material for this painting was derived from an artist-in-residency project I organized and facilitated: men & women learned to work together in practices unfamiliar to one or both parties. The fragility of this project is born out in the Ace bandages that I applied to the unfinished work in progress.


Things Feel Things
The idea that "Things Feel Things" is extrapolated from a longstanding philosophical tradition that emphasizes becoming and changing over static being. Alas, inanimate things engaging in some type of feeling is not a mainstream notion of how things interact. Regardless, I also attached reflective Mylar in the shape of a fig leaf and Ace bandages to this canvas. If fig leaves are designed to hide sensitive parts from view and bandages are for support during times of duress, then my uses of these devises are as a symbolic harbinger. Hence, I devised this painting to reveal a fragile idea during the height of a Material Culture that’s been constructed by Capitalists to alienate people from each other and the things we consume.


Empty Feeling.
In this piece I painted the portraits of Marina Abromovic and myself. I cut-out the inside of the portraits allowing them to fall behind the outlines, and then affixed the faces to the back of the paper. Then, I filled the holes with reflective Mylar. I wrote my thoughts on this matter below these two peculiar face types.


Uber-Alterity
This piece pictures artists Cindy Sherman and Nikki Lee together, based on their photographs, respectively “Untitled (Self-Portrait with Sun Tan)” 2003 and “Hispanic Project (25).” 1998. Reflective Mylar is attached to the surface, drawing the viewer alongside them and into their narrative. As Sherman fabricates “other,” and Lee literally carries out the affairs of otherness, the viewer participates as an active ingredient by engaging with this uber form of alterity. Considering that the word uber in the German language means over and above, and Uber the car service is a way to go. Combine this with the term alterity, defined as is having an encounter with "the other"; to the point that “other” takes me out of myself and creates new understanding. Hence, Uber-Alterity is another way to say Their We go SelfOthering.


LizFrancis
This self-portrait includes reflective Mylar (several overlapping fig leaf mirrored shapes form another head alongside my profile). Together they reveal the influence of my partner and also the viewer.


Live Mask
Reference material for this piece was derived from my work at two different artist-in-residency projects. At a homeless shelter I organized a mask-making event. One man wore a respirator while he worked. At a gallery for Outsider Art, I participated in a reciprocal learning performance. The exhibiting artists prepared my costume and applied my make-up. I combined these situations to form a single painting. I also attached bands of reflective Mylar to activate the audience as they view this piece. They cover almost half the surface of the paper. So, viewers will gain influence in this artwork by adding their reflections and changing the painting, akin to how agency and power shifts back and forth in reciprocal service learning.


Feng-Shui Peace Another Way
This is a self-portrait piece, myself as an U.S. Army officer and a Taliban rebel. The yellow stained area is due to the burning of paper. Prior to the start, atop the blank paper, I burned recently completed drawings of armed enemy combatants and soldiers facing each other. A forthcoming video documents the process.


50-50 Tongue & Groovin' It
This piece is comprised of two portraits of Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent, joined together by the tongue and groove method. Jackson is depicted in his police mug shot, and then years later, in a movie still where he starred as a police officer. An intrapersonal piece was created by literally cutting, splicing, linking and connecting the two drawings in the center.


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