March 22, 2013 | Sherry
Until March 30, at the New York City J. Cacciola Gallery you can see Jane LaFarge Hamill's latest work entitled "emoticon". Hamill painted almost all of the pieces featured in the exhibit during her residency in Leipzig, Germany. (You can learn more about Jane and her residency by watching a video on the subject.)
Allison Malafronte of Fine Art. Connoisseur describes Hamill's work from "emoticon" as follows:
We have all become accustomed to, and in many ways desensitized by, computerized substitutions for communicating our identities, thoughts, and feelings. Everything from our online avatars and profiles to shorthand texting and messaging helps perpetuate this depersonalization. In looking at the intelligent, thought-provoking paintings in Hamill’s Emoticon exhibition, I see a slight satire of these societal trends, but I also sense a suggested alternative. Whether she is focused on a particular mood of human expression, an iconic image or logo adopted by an athletic figure, or the intersection of inordinate ideas and concepts, the artist seems to be showing us where our attention and devotion divide. In many ways it’s as if she’s trying to refocus that attention, with a complete understanding of how fragmented it has become. She obliterates faces, blurs lines, and shakes up the stylistic status quo to show us that one can never fully define or capture human emotion or existence — because it lives and moves and breathes, unlike our static online counterparts.
When I attended the opening of Jane LaFarge Hamill's "emoticon," I was struck by how her skilled portraiture interacted with the color infused world layered on top of each of her works. There is something mysterious and urban in the overpainting. The art certainly succeeded in drawing me in-- I dream of owning one of these pieces: