In its second exhibition space, Jonathan LeVine Gallery introduces Smother Your Mother, an exhibition of new works from Date Farmers, a collaboration between socially conscious, found-material artists Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez. Featuring a site-specific installation, this will be the second show at the gallery for the partnering artists.
In Smother Your Mother, the tone of the work shifts focus toward themes of mental neurosis, confronting dark fears and the compelling quality of the visually or conceptually grotesque—like the irresistible need to look at a car wreck or pick at a scab. The artists say that some of the ideas conveyed are spiritual, while others are just stories, “…Christ, the devil, nightmares, candles, saying I love you, shape shifting into animals, running back home, smoking a cigarette that you found, the fear of getting your ass kicked, being mad about nothing, telling the truth in disguise.” Of the found materials used in their work, the unwanted and discarded, they say “we just make it wanted again. Ugly is beautiful.”
The Date Farmers continue to develop what has become their signature aesthetic, incorporating found objects into their assemblage works which include aspects of collage, hand-painted typography, and cross-hatch drawing techniques. The work contains elements influenced by graffiti, Mexican street murals, traditional revolutionary posters, prison art, tattoos, and sign painting, while often combining familiar pop iconography and corporate logos with figures from comics, folklore and Catholicism. The artists use this language to create shadow-box dioramas and three-dimensional sculptures as well as two-dimensional pieces. Working on recycled metal signage and other alternative canvases, the pair create a dynamic dialogue between the subject matter and the materials themselves, resulting in vividly colorful imagery layered in rich texture and symbolism.
The show will be presented simultaneously with the gallery’s three-artist show “Three-Handed” featuring Eric White, Nicola Verlato, and Fulvio Di Piazza.
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Date Farmers / Smother Your Mother
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 10, 7-9 p.m.
Jonathan LeVine Gallery
529 West 20th Street, 9th floor
New York, NY 10011