EYE TEETH Paint Creek Center for the Arts, Rochester, MI / March 2 - April 6, 2012 A satire on the American way of life. With David Becker / Nikki DeSautelle / Andy Gabrysiak / JenClare Gawaran / Jo Powers / Stephen William Schudlich / Bruce Thayer / Maureen Vachon / Peter Williams

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A warning.

EYE TEETH (a satire on the American way of life)

Satire involves the art of taking aim. Training one’s sights on a specific target. It is rooted in observation of a penetrating nature, in which the subject is carved up. This carving up results in caricature—the act of rearranging surface features until a baser, truer character is revealed—the source of human miscalculation that becomes the raw material for mockery. The satirist, possessing the unique ability to penetrate the surface from a safe distance, can identify this base character before the carving even commences—sorting the various targets into “types.” This requires the cataloging of human folly, as the satirist uses the image as a weapon, passing judgment on behavior and its resulting action, or inaction.

EYE TEETH presents a selection of images that work from the premise of social satire, which differs greatly from that of political satire in that the focus is on skewering the everyday failings of a society, rather than on the specific nature of the public, political figure. The social satirist does not act as a demagogue, leading the populace out of the wilderness, but as a gadfly that simply screams fire when something is indeed burning. The aim is that of catharsis—achieving a state of relief by making light of that which is often deemed sacrosanct. Indeed, much of the work in EYE TEETH is meant to disrupt, disturb, and puncture a sense of propriety, by presenting a vision of American society as a gallery of misbegotten grotesques. The malformed vision conjured is that of a landscape littered with bigotry, hopelessness, violence, squalor, confusion, lethargy, sexual dysfunction, numbness, callousness and cruelty. The social satirist begs the question: “Is there something better than this?”

/ Ryan Standfest / March, 2012 /
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General exhibition view 1.

CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE
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General exhibition view 2.
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David Becker: "Cable Ready" / 2011 / charcoal

Statement: "The drawing "Cable Ready": The seated figure has fabricated a do-it-yourself-suicide gun from materials readily available at a hardware store or steel supplier. To complete the deed he will place the barrel muzzle in the short tube suspended below his neck to insure accuracy, grip the padded buttstock between his knees while leaning back, and clench his fist to pull the trigger cable. If successful, his elaborate suicide may gain inclusion in a textbook on blood spatter analysis, thereby achieving some measure of fame."
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"Cable Ready" detail 1.
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"Cable Ready" detail 2.
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"Cable Ready" detail 3.
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David Becker: "Adjust to Fit" 2010

Statement: "The drawing "Adjust to Fit": A student in the Wayne State U. Art Dept. gave me an antique dentist chair in the late 1960's while I was a young faculty member. The chair (drawn from observation) seat, armrests, headrest, and back adjust to the individual. The male figure holds a vintage riding crop and the letters on the back of his shirt: DOM, stand for "Dirty Old Man"."
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"Adjust to Fit" detail 1.
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"Adjust to Fit" detail 2.
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"Adjust to Fit" detail 3.
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Jo Powers: "(untitled 1)" / oil on canvas / 2012

Statement: "The job of making art, to me, is manual labor fueled by ideas. The two processes drive one another. It can be difficult for artists to say where they get their ideas. Sometimes in childhood, we may discover that the drunken brawl spilling from a neighbor's house is actually visually interesting."
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"(untitled 1)" detail.
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Jo Powers: "(untitled 2)" / oil on canvas/ 2012
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"(untitled 2)" detail.
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View of work by Jo Powers (left) and Andy Gabrysiak (right)
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Andy Gabrysiak: "Some Goings On" / ink and correction fluid on paper / 2012
(title panel)

Statement: "SOME GOINGS-ON" guns down the “regular American guy” and exposes him as a desperate sexual deviant. Of course it is irresponsible of any satirist to make generalizations about such a broad group. Certainly some of those “regular guys” are also knuckle-dragging Neanderthals, mouth-breathing mongoloids, glue-sniffing dope fiends, big fat tub o’ lard low-lifers and greasy four-eyed asthmatic cartoonists."

Art by A. Gabrysiak / text by R. Standfest
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Andy Gabrysiak: "Some Goings On"
(panel no. 2)
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Andy Gabrysiak: "Some Goings On"
(panel no. 3)
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Andy Gabrysiak: "Some Goings On"
(panel no. 6)
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Left: work by A. Gabrysiak and Right: "Afternoon Television" by Maureen Vachon
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Left: "Afternoon Television" by Maureen Vachon
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Group: work by Bruce Thayer

Statement: "My Work touches on social issues, uses word play, and figurative abstraction. The pieces in the show are iconic images of our culture presented with humor and satire."
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Bruce Thayer: "The Brute" / graphite, rubber stamping on paper / 2010
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Bruce Thayer: "The Cowboy" / graphite, rubber stamping on paper / 2010
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Bruce Thayer: "Good Guy" / graphite and rubber stamping on paper / 2010
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Bruce Thayer: "Super-Mart Greeter" / mixed media on paper / 2005
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Maureen Vachon: "Attitude"

Statement: "American popular culture is a spectacular eruption of paganism. It's a train wreck on a sunny day that you have to pay admission to watch."
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"Attitude" detail.
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JenClare B. Gawaran: "Familiar Inheritance" / serigraph, chine colle, colored pencil / 2012

Statement: "I am constantly thinking of how I fit into that ideal American life; so much so that my work centers on the continuous flow of associated ideas and images floating in my head. As a Filipino-American kid growing up in the suburbs, I never gave much thought about how culture affects how I and others perceive me. For the most part, I viewed myself as a typical Midwestern suburban kid. It wasn’t until adulthood when I realized my awkward placement between Western and Eastern cultures doesn’t quite fit the mold of stereotypical Americana and the white picket fence.

My pieces in EYE TEETH continue my exploration of how I conform and contradict American and Asian expectations placed upon me. Pondering my role in cultural expectations can be particularly intense and intimidating. It’s because of this reason I believe humor is used in my imagery. If I’m making fun of these racial and cultural ideas, they become “easier” to handle. These pieces also present a first for me: when laughing at these images, I felt immediately guilty afterward for doing so. I suppose that would be expected in the combination of racial pejoratives, Filipino stereotypes and childhood memories of racist jackasses."
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth Left: "First" / three-dimensional collage of serigraph, chine colle and colored pencil / 2012
Work by JenClare B. Gawaran:
Left: "First" / three-dimensional collage of serigraph, chine colle and colored pencil / 2012

Right: "Inside Out" / serigraph, chine colle, colored pencil / 2012
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Detail of "First."
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Detail of "First."
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JenClare B. Gawaran: "Inside Out" / serigraph, chine colle, colored pencil / 2012
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth Detail of "Inside Out."

Detail of "Inside Out."
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Peter Williams: From the series "The Green Zone" / oil on canvas / 2009

"The Green Zone, now known as The International Zone, was a heavily fortified 3.9 square mile area of central Baghdad, Iraq, that consisted of closed-off streets where US occupation authorities lived and worked following the invasion of Iraq. The Green Zone included the main palaces of former President Saddam Hussein, which were repurposed to house the civilian ruling authority run by the Americans and the British, and the offices of major US consulting firms.
Commonly referred to as the "Ultimate Gated Community" due to the numerous armed checkpoints, coils of razor wire, chain link fences, and surrounding "T-Walls" (reinforced and blast-proof concrete slabs), The Green Zone was defended by M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and HUMVEEs with .50 caliber machine guns on top. US officials were rarely visible outside of it, and rules for British personnel barred them from leaving the Zone unless four bodyguards and an armored vehicle accompanied them.
Iraqis and foreign diplomats had been critical of the occupation officials who were isolated within The Green Zone, accusing them of being un-informed and out-of-touch about life elsewhere in Baghdad, an area that official US security jargon called The Red Zone. Occupying The Green Zone in Baghdad provided limited exposure with the average Iraqi population, as Americans were believed to be walling themselves in, mentally and emotionally, and physically."
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Peter Williams: From the series "The Green Zone" (no. 1)
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Peter Williams: From the series "The Green Zone" (no. 2)
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Peter Williams: From the series "The Green Zone (no. 3)
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Nikki DeSautelle: 'Farout Indian" album cover (front + back)

Statement: "The Big City buzzes with all the potential and possibility your lonely little heart could hope for, and faced with all the opportunity in the world you quickly realize you're the same person you always were. Day in and day out, you're meeting the same dozen people over and over and it turns out everyone is just some idiot or asshole breathing on your neck."
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Nikki DeSautelle: "Farout Indian" album cover (front) / 2011
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Nikki DeSautelle: "Farout Indian" album cover (back) / 2011
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Work by Nikki Desautelle
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Nikki DeSautelle: "Jerry" / comic strip / 2011
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Nikki DeSautelle: "Am I right or am I crazy?" / comic strip / 2011
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Nikki DeSautelle: "Is That It?" / comic strip / 2012
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Nikki DeSautelle: "Go Ahead Lady" / comic strip / 2011
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View of work by Stephen William Schudlich

Statement: "My visual narrative in this exhibition is injected into revisited templates of familiar items. I use common, recognizable objects and make them unique by infusing them with an unexpected and unsettling content. I utilize simple images with an economic use of line and shape. Combining these with a stylized typographical logic in a solid graphic design foundation, I seek to create a catalogue of tongue-in-cheek, eye poking messaging.
The coloring book, in its purest form, is an innocent tool that seeks to engage (and quiet) children, possibly with a thinly masked educational component. My coloring books are no different though, they deal with a far darker, but very real subject matter based not in fantasy but in real life, in real time. The pages are intentionally colored with the 8 colors originally offered by Crayola in 1903*. This is the limited palette that one would expect to find in a corporate owned, family friendly eatery, or a doctor’s office, or a poorly or non-funded public school.
The collector cards offer characters whose accomplishments and contributions are polar opposites of heroes from sports or entertainment. They illuminate and sarcastically celebrate the modern day panhandlers, showcasing the styles, talents, and idiosyncrasies of their community.
McWeepers Whiskey labels provide a play on the cliché of booze induced belligerence and violent engagement, even with those whom we profess to love. Alcohol is an activator that may often open portals of uninhibited affection, only to have these replaced with anger and misplaced rage."

* Brown, Red, Yellow, Black, Blue, Purple, Green, Orange
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Stephen William Schudlich: "A Young Person's Urban Occupational Primer" / inkjet on paper with crayon / 2012
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Stephen William Schudlich: "A Young Person's Urban Occupational Primer"
(title page)
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Stephen William Schudlich: "A Young Person's Urban Occupational Primer"
(page 1: Paramedic)
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth (page 2: Policeman)
Stephen William Schudlich: "A Young Person's Urban Occupational Primer"
(page 2: Policeman)
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth (page 3: Fireman)
Stephen William Schudlich: "A Young Person's Urban Occupational Primer"
(page 3: Fireman)
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Stephen William Schudlich: "A Young Person's Urban Occupational Primer"
(page 4: Preacher)
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Stephen William Schudlich: "McWeeper's" Whiskey (front) / inkjet bottle label / 2012
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth "McWeeper's" front label detail.

"McWeeper's" front label detail.
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Stephen William Schudlich: "McWeeper's" Whiskey (back) / inkjet bottle label / 2012
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth "McWeeper's" back label detail.

"McWeeper's" back label detail.
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Stephen William Schudlich: "Hoop-t (urban ghetto) Coloring Book" / inkjet on paper with crayon / 2010
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth "Hoop-t" title page.

"Hoop-t" title page.
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth "Hoop-t" page 1.

"Hoop-t" page 1.
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth "Hoop-t" page 2.

"Hoop-t" page 2.
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth "Hoop-t" page 3.

"Hoop-t" page 3.
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth "Hoop-t" page 4.

"Hoop-t" page 4.
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth Interactive coloring station, with pages from "A Young Person's Occupational Primer" and "Hoop-t."

Interactive coloring station, with pages from "A Young Person's Occupational Primer" and "Hoop-t."
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Stephen William Schudlich: "Motor City Pan-Handler All-Stars" / trading card series / 2011
RYAN STANDFEST eye teeth "Snots" from the "Motor City Pan-Handler All Stars" series.

"Snots" from the "Motor City Pan-Handler All Stars" series.
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