“ Emotional Support ”
New York, 542 West 24th Street
James Rieck's latest series, "Emotional Support," addresses and celebrates the relationship between people and pets. Animals, both wild and domesticated, have been represented in art since the beginning of civilization. Globally, scenes of hunting and companionship have peppered the walls of caves and museums throughout the ages. Art has illustrated this special bond like no other.
Using Rieck's emblematic 1960s fashion vocabulary from department store advertising, Emotional Support examines the complex and compelling bond between people and their pets using oversaturated hues, odd cropping, and boldly patterned backgrounds creating a familiar but altered composition. Rieck masterfully masks the figure’s identity by cropping out the viewer’s gaze and directing us to the eyes of the dog or cat for clarification.
Momentary revelry is captured in the physiognomy of frozen faces with expressions of glee. These feted moments appear conventional yet are ambiguous enough to allow the viewer the create their own dialogue as to the relationship between each subject and the pet, begging the question, “who’s supporting who and/or what?” As a pet owner himself, Rieck conveys his first-hand observations, if not fixations, people have with pets. “Emotional Support” wonderfully walks the thin line between classical and campy dialogues. And, judging by our global obsession with posting animal pictures and videos online, he is not alone in his walk.
on view through June 1, 2019