Eduardo Consuegra, William E. Jones, Jasminne Morataya, Ragen Moss and Mark Verabioff
Opening Sunday, March 15th, 5-8 pm
William E. Jones
QUEENS presents Disposable Boyfriends, featuring artworks by Eduardo Consuegra, William E. Jones, Jasminne Morataya, Ragen Moss and Mark Verabioff.
I stumbled upon a book of David Robilliard’s work during a vulnerable time in my life. His painting “Disposable Boyfriends” stood out and felt like ammunition for what I was feeling, a dismissive salting of the wound from a severed relationship. This painting felt like the perfect way to verbalize the feelings tied to disposing of and being disposed. The title of the painting is a marquee, hanging over fragmented Mondrian-colored figures, the “boyfriends” who are milling about, having a beer, lost in the crowd of the negative space of the painting. They’re scanning the room, seeking, hungry for a beginning but wary of the attachment that leads to the inevitable ending.
David Robilliard was a poet before he made paintings, and similarly the artists in this exhibition gracefully incorporate outside textualities into their work. There’s something about being able to hybridize these interests and ambitions that feels queer, though to pinpoint queerness is difficult and elusive. One might look at the collage-based strategies in the work of Eduardo Consuegra and Mark Verabioff; in Consuegra’s work printed materials point to nostalgia and a questioning of modernism, while Verabioff uses discordant pairings of image and text to humorous and abject result. Lots of artists work from photographs, but there’s still something raucous and sexy about just pasting images right into your artwork. Ragen Moss’ transparent hanging sculptures, which sometimes look like suspended torsos (boyfriends), are embedded with and informed by a variety of texts, including poetry and quotations of legislation from her second life as a lawyer. William E. Jones’ engagement with queer archival material is a historical mirror to Jasminne Morataya’s catalogue of internet personas and their often pathetic or narcissistic attempts at self-care.
In the last year, the emotional fragment I recognized in “Disposable Boyfriends” has expanded to include the acerbic humor of loneliness, the disconnection of being in a crowd, the fondness and nostalgia for a painful passage; a variety of choked laughter. As a painter myself, I appreciate the discourse between content and sensibility.