Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Drawn to It

Featuring new drawings and prints by DC-based artists Ryan Nelson and Rachel Waldron

December 16, 2006 – January 20, 2007

ARTIST TALK: December 20, 2006, 6-7 pm

Drawn to It explores the appropriation and manipulation of comics in contemporary drawing through the work of two dynamic young DC based emerging artists, Ryan Nelson and Rachel Waldron. Flavored with strangeness, dis-order, and unease, Nelson's and Waldron's humorous and sardonic works further the dialogue between art and popular culture, uniquely utilizing vernacular illustration to address themes of longing, loss, and power dynamics, among others.

Ryan Nelson's collected ink drawings in Drawn to It display a range of illustration work he's done over the last few years. Many of these drawings were used or intended mostly as contributions to posters or album covers. Working mainly with the traditional cartoonist's medium, ink and brush, his drawings are primarily planted firmly in the slice-of-life comic style. Presented at Transformer without the usual surrounding text, Ryan's images are provided their own space separated from attached advertisement, and exist as simply drawings that are filled with irony and romantic notions caught between concealment and disclosure.

Rachel Waldron's work is both figurative and narrative, wrestling with the dynamic of power vs. vulnerability. She turns an intimate eye on pivotal moments in the stories she creates. Action is stopped and observed - who will be the victor? Playful with her subjects, Waldron uses the female figure as archetype and metaphor. Exaggerations of size and shadow evoke a feeling of battling super-heroes or monsters, sometimes giving rise to smaller, featureless figures that torment the main character. Hieratic scaling is a major factor in creating a power dynamic. Since all of the players in the composition are basically manifestations of the same person, the viewer is left to decide who should win out.

Ryan Nelson is a DC native whose art has been strongly associated with Washington's underground/punk music scene. Since 1993 his illustrations have been found on numerous local music flyers, silk-screened posters, comic strips, album covers, and t-shirt designs - most notably the annual t-shirt illustrations for the Fort Reno Summer Concert Series. Rachel Waldron, a Baltimore native, moved to DC in 1995 where she received her formal training and BA from the George Washington University. She currently lives and works in DC. Her work has recently been featured in local venues including Blindspot Studio, DC and the Arlington Arts Center, VA.

Exhibition Hours for Drawn to It: Wednesday - Saturday 1- 7 pm, and by appointment.

1404 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

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