Extraordinary Pancapitalist Renditions
My current artwork blends allegorical history painting, color theory, and critical theory into a polemic narrative. These disciplines allow me to develop ideas of pancapitalism and empire, human rights and injustice, and power and powerlessness. The sociopolitical paintings utilize both symbol and metaphor and refer to foreign policy and current events, art history and iconography, color symbolism and optical illusion for structure and content.
Grounded in the living web of wholeness and balance, my rhythmic artwork reflects a seamless array of scientific, philosophical, and sociopolitical themes such as animism, synchronicity, torture, genocide, and corporate responsibility. My paintings question authoritarian dominance and repressive power structures, and they seek dissident political alternatives that empower and engage both the mind and the eye of a spectrum of audiences.
In the past fifteen years, I have presented and installed my paintings in large-scale panorama triptychs and modular formats. The triptych format triangulates the narrative and creates an environment of visual dialogue between content and context. Questions of color gradation and space, language and pattern, and texture and scale all contribute to the meaning of the work. Through formal illusions, juxtapositions of luminance, complimentary contrasts, and saturation shifts, the work reflects our inner detachment with the human condition. Critically important to me is an emotive reaction within the viewer.
An overarching theme in my allegorical paintings is the quasi meeting ground where a compassion for wholeness and sociopolitical ideas are simultaneously considered. By developing several power metaphors, such as the white male phallus, cowboy hats, and the oil well, I have begun not only to question the multitude of repressive factors that we face within pancapitalist society, but also to seek the possible answers necessary for our survival. One objective of mine is to question traditional artistic distribution methods and to cross conceptual boundaries, leading to a better understanding of the issues of power and powerlessness. An artistic and conceptual goal for me is one that opens new conduits between institutions and communities that have historically been separate.
In my recent American Commemoratives triptych, repressive leadership is severed from its ties to the complicit democratic republic. Pancapitalism and its prime suspect are placed on display in a trio of faces for the oppressed to watch decay. The head of G. W. Bush is portrayed as Hitler and Medusa, and linked with Saddam Hussein's pistol. By questioning our subservience to a linear, hierarchical power regime and the veil of national security by U.S. presidents, the paintings illuminate our complicity in the self-entitled war on terror, the cloaked low-intensity genocide, the human rights atrocities, and the deceptive corporate media system. The severed faces and oil-well imagery, systematically painted wet-on-dry in polychromatic colors and symmetrically hung within a Trinity-like scenario, all work to critique the role of dominant patriarchal power and homogenous authority along with its interlocuting social, sexual, and psychological subjects.
Extraordinary Pancapitalist Renditions
Exhibit Runs: through November 4, 2006
Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday 1-5pm
Artist Talk: Saturday October 21, 3pm
Public Invited to all open gallery hours, opening night, artist talk and by appointment.
Cost: All gallery hours, opening are FREE and open to public. All art sales benefit the artist, with 5% donation to WAMM(Women Against Military Madness).
Address: California Gallery: 2205 California St. NE, Suite 103, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Located at the corner of California St. NE. and 22nd Ave. NE., just south of Lowry Avenue NE., just east of Marshall Avenue NE., and west of University Ave. NE. in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. Please enter at front door off California St. or via ADA access ramp/door near Mill City Coffee parking lot.
Caution: This exhibition contains imagery that may be unsuitable for children.
Pete Driessen's mnartists.org site
For more information and to see more work.