Aubrey Rhodes [Melbourne, Australia]


November 21st, 2014 - January 10th, 2015

Opening Reception with Aubrey Rhodes

Friday, November 21st, 5-9pm 
     Aubrey Rhodes’ Rx series examines identity and self-perception, and the impact of pharmaceutical drugs, chemical substances, obsessions and addictions.

     Each painting in the Rx series exists within its own unique reality, walking a captivating line between philosophical observation and humor--between levity and poignancy.

     The text collages that comprise the backgrounds of each painting are works of art unto themselves, functioning as their own type of abstract poetry. The collage provides a counterpoint and creates an effective interplay between text and beautifully painted imagery, illuminating a more complex narrative within, while providing a lush visual depth and dimension.

     In Little Fella, a woman holds The Incredible Shrinking Man (from the 1957 film) in the palm of her hand. Clusters of tiny blue pills appear throughout—the large “Rx” in the upper-left corner is painted in “Viagra Blue.”

     In The Avon Lady, the seemingly innocuous cosmetics saleswoman is transformed to a well-armed enforcement agent. Familiar slogans are recontextualized, as advertisements like, “Look & Feel Years Younger,” become more of a demand than a simple sales pitch.

     In Margie, the background collage is composed from the clippings of Martha Stewart Living, showing ads and headlines that illustrate domestic perfection. A young Martha Stewart (from her modeling days) appears as the painted figure. She looks despondent and depressed, as she looks down and to the side, almost consciously avoiding the eyes of the viewer. Her large and heavy earrings weigh down more than just her earlobes, as they seem to have an emotional weight, burdening her spirit, as well.  

     Aubrey Rhodes has painted the Rx series exclusively for her exhibition at Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery.