ROCKELMANN& is proud to present the two-man show Less and Less Human: Casualties of Modern Life (Figures Effaced in Various Iterations) in collaboration with Stuart & Co. Gallery. The exhibition brings together the work of two eclectic artists, American painter David Derish and Chinese multi-media artist Tian Jiang.
From two varying perspectives and mediums, each artist addresses the struggle of the individual in a world of shifting social structures, objectification, and subversion of identity by the forces of modern life. Derish’s figurative paintings are faceless, embodiments of primal energies stripped of their individuality. The various attempts at expression allude to the instability and uncertainty of the individual in contemporary society. Jiang’s inspiration comes from both her cultural background and her own personal experiences as an international student studying far from home. Drawing out the issues of transcultural identity, belonging, and stark cultural differences between east and west, her work seeks to take a closer look at the cracks in migratory bureaucracy.
In regards to art practice, painting is often viewed as the most reliable medium in the art market today. Derish and Jiang use conflicting mediums to create strong color compositions, but intersect strongly in regards to subject; both work within the confines of identity. Jiang’s work integrates the usage of found objects, which once they are sourced are transformed into sculptures representing supermarket products. In our society everything is readily available and we have become accustomed to the instant gratification of the culture of supply and demand. By presenting a work about identity and borders as one of these supermarket product allows the viewer to question the perceived value and the intended purpose of the object they are seeing. By contrast, Derish chooses to work with the classical medium of oil on canvas but unlike the classical masters his usage of non-humanoid and non-identifiable figures leave viewers questioning the greater meaning under the surface.