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BOGO

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MRG Fine Art is very pleased to present B.O.G.O., an exhibition of new work by Joshua Hashemzadeh. This showing marks the artist's fourth solo exhibition with the gallery and will be open June 24 and remain on view through July 4th. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, June 24, 2017, from 7 pm - 10 pm.

Joshua Hashemzadeh builds on the relationships between language, and it’s visual representations. The artist, having focused primarily on text as a point of inspiration thus far, presents a new collection of “Value Paintings” which examine and critique modes of contemporary art production and viewership. The various text paintings throughout the gallery depict variations of retail verbiage fixed to color fields, a juxtaposition that stirs up opposing notions of austere, kitsch, the conceptual, and the decorative.

The muted and often conservative color palettes, inspired by various 20th-century paintings, are branded by contemporary sales slogans which evoke disconnects between modern conceptions of tastefulness and industrialized signifiers. The clashing depiction of regressed artistic expression and the superfluity of corporate catch -lines is a relationship that becomes prevalent throughout the gallery. The contrasting dynamic alludes to the growing lack of cultural literacy, homogenized production, and economic growth’s ability to trump intellectual progress. This allegorical depiction of creative and academic subversion comes at a time when art is also increasingly commodified as a luxury object, and surviving artists, as retail brands. Hashemzadeh looks to recent articles such as “Connoisseurship and Critique” by Ben Davis and “Going Pro” by Daniel S. Palmer to deconstruct the intersections of artistic traditions and capitalism’s influence on the masses perception of the art-object.

The artist examines the idea of “artistic self-consciousness” by creating works that possess qualities of the “hand-made” as well as an overt commercial self-awareness. Although the work remains inevitably available to those of privilege, phrases like “Buy One Get One Free” and “0 Down” associated with the displayed work, are appropriated from advertisements geared towards those of the proletariat. This inherent sense of irony playfully alludes to conceptions of “wage labor” and its consequential impact on social and fiscal disparity. Thus, defining the work as a symptom of various cultural influences spanning from references to philosophers Marx and Adorno, to the contemporary industrialization of the artistic practice, to accessibility and cultural connoisseurship. Despite the aesthetically minimal nature of the work, Joshua Hashemzadeh looks to use subtle visual experimentations to create literate experiences that signify meanings which extend beyond their immediate grammatical expression. It is in jest that the artist interprets and quantifies the value of art objects that are deliberately created to have no practical function or permanent ideological or fiscal value. 

Joshua Hashemzadeh (b. 1993, Los Angeles, CA) has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work, often varying in mediums, is built around an investigation of language and its linkage to, artistic connoisseurship, socio-economic hierarchies, and creative mysticism. Recent works have been featured in several exhibitions throughout the United States with recent highlights being: Poster, Black Ball Projects, Brooklyn; LA Art Show 2017, Los Angeles; Enigma, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; LA Street Art Fair, Los Angeles; Critique of Reason, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; 32 Shades of Plastic, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Our little Angle, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco; Tethered, Like Minded Salon, San Francisco. 

POSTER - BLACK BALL PROJECTS

This is an experimental exhibition that seeks to reflect the actions our collective bodies have taken through different types of protest and expression. We are interested in thoughts made visible—concerns and civic calls for action alongside earnest or humorous demands for sanity.

Focusing primarily on the poster or the protest sign as the medium of choice, the show materials extend to protest T-shirts, and other ephemera that capture our collected political angst. A closing reception will be held on Saturday, May 6 at Black Ball Projects, located at 374 Bedford Ave., Southside Williamsburg Brooklyn, NYC.

Items will all be added to the walls of the gallery on a continual basis, from the opening to the closing of the exhibition. We look forward to presenting the multiplicity of visual protest seen since the dawn of the Trump era.

And finally, this show will culminate in a small catalogue or “zine.” We like to think that this will serve as a historical document in some small way. All work will be photographed (and credited) upon arrival and we aim to have this catalogue/zine available by closing day, Saturday May 6.

LOVE TRUMPS HATE

Joshua Hashemzadeh, Blood Coming Out of Her... Wherever, 2016, (Image courtesy of the artist.)

Joshua Hashemzadeh, Blood Coming Out of Her... Wherever, 2016, (Image courtesy of the artist.)

 

Love Trumps Hate is part of an ongoing collaboration between artist, Joshua Hashemzadeh and his seven-year-old sister Lauren Gallace. Appropriating images from children’s coloring books, Joshua digitally breaks their continuity through a play with language and form. Pulling quotations and influences from current events, dominant social norms, western politics, and art history he looks to establish linkages between post-modern identities and the gaze of pop-culture. After these alterations have been completed the uncanny imagery is redistributed to Lauren to color as she would any other off-the-shelf coloring book. This contrast between political satire and youthful innocence critiques media saturated issues around the current presidential election in ways that are both comical and troubling. 

Pieces in this exhibition pull quotations exclusively from president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign for the US presidency and highlight his often marginalizing rhetoric and ability to exploit voter demographics. The artist reflects on his own bi-racial and culturally diverse upbringing to select phrases which allude to a wide array of controversies with an emphasis on the portrayal of gender, race, and socio-economic class.

Joshua Hashemzadeh, Make America Great Again, 2016, (Image courtesy of the artist.)

Joshua Hashemzadeh, Make America Great Again, 2016, (Image courtesy of the artist.)

Concerned about the demagogue-like campaign that led Trump from media punchline to White House resident, Joshua displaces the campaign’s hateful and bigoted remarks by contrasting them with uninformed youthful gestures. This serves both as a jab to Trump's social ignorance and lack of political expertise, as well as a fearful reminder that the man responsible for these quotations will shape our futures and set an example for the youth of this nation.

Joshua Hashemzadeh (b. 1993, Los Angeles, CA) has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work, often varying in mediums, is built around an investigation of postmodern conditions referring in detail to millennial identity and artistic practice. Recent works have been featured in several exhibitions in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas with highlights being: Enigma, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Critique of Reason, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; BFA Undergraduate Show, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco; 32 Shades of Plastic, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Tethered, Like Minded Salon, San Francisco; Poverty & Wealth Want & Waste…, Santa Monica. 

 

Enigma

MRG Fine Art | Exhibition Curated by Joshua Hashemzadeh

Joshua Hashemzadeh. Collection of Untitled Documents, 2016, dimensions variable (framed) , Archival Prints on Paper.  Image courtesy of artist.

Joshua Hashemzadeh. Collection of Untitled Documents, 2016, dimensions variable (framed) , Archival Prints on Paper.  Image courtesy of artist.

Enigma is a group exhibition featuring drawings, painting, and photography by artists Jacqueline Glosman, Joshua Hashemzadeh, Ileana Tejada, and Chris Rivas. The show will open September 3, 2016, and remain on view through September 11. An opening reception will be held Saturday, September 3, 2016, from 7-10pm.  

 

The various works on display aim to address identity as a difficult to understand phenomena which, often is riddled with contradiction and ambiguity. The show, Enigma, brings these culturally diverse artists together to explore the canon of hybridity as a postmodern principal alluded to in contemporary literature such as “The Postmodern Animal” by Steven Baker.

 

Neither the aesthetics of modernism nor the philosophical values of humanism, it is believed, can cope with hybrid forms which unsettle boundaries…In the values of modernism and modernity, it is now felt, there was a widespread urge to homogenize and systematize, to render the world intelligible by eliminating or suppressing inconsistencies, impurities, and dissimilarities.” – Steven Baker

 

The artists in this exhibition look to contrast modernist and traditional aesthetics to depict the body as the fore-mentioned “hybrid form” which pushes away from previously conceived homologous “boundaries.” Thus, implying we are not necessarily defined by one classification or another, as clear titles would easily suggest. Instead, identity traverses the spectrum of gender, race, and culture forming endless affirmations, making us who we are.  

 

By focusing on historical motifs such as textiles and drapery the figures become enthralled in various situations of concealment and reveal. This play on the seen and unseen portrays figures in a state of uncertainty and forces audiences to imagine cloaked or ambiguous forms through their own conceptions of the self.

 

The collection of artists in this exhibition help illuminate the paradoxes of normative categorizations by establishing personified reflections of their own hybridity. Whether it’s a depicted balance between feminine and masculine, or representations of the figure in empty psychological voids, the various works depict the body in moments of conflict as they try to cope with their own intersectionality. This deconstruction of cultural specificity through woven materials reveals that the idea of identity is a misapprehension fabricated by the intricate weavings of social messages, media, and manipulated desires. 

 

Chris Rivas.Thomas, 2016, 30"x 40", Oil on Canvas. Image courtesy of artist

Chris Rivas.Thomas, 2016, 30"x 40", Oil on Canvas. Image courtesy of artist

 Ileana Tejada (b. 1987, Bedford, CA) Is a Mexican-American artist and former NCAA Division II Track and Field athlete. Tejada’s work progressively deals with female masculinity and the opposition to “marianismo”-the exaggerated sense of traditional femininity. Tejada received her BFA from California State Polytechnic University- Pomona, as well as a BS (Kinesiology, Pedagogy). In 2015 she graduated with a Masters of Fine Art in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute. Tejada is the recipient of the Murphy Cadogan Graduate Fellowship, the Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Painting, and SFAI’s Amir Esfahani Graduate Studio Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Gallery CB1 in Los Angeles, and published in New American Paintings, No.123, MFA Annual, 2016. She is currently working and living in San Francisco, CA.

 

Chris Rivas (b. 1993, Los Angeles, CA) Is currently pursuing an MFA from Montclair State University after receiving his BFA in 2015 from the San Francisco Art Institute. As a biracial individual his work fixates on the visual depictions of culture and often manipulates historical traditions such as lighting, portraiture, and drapery. Rivas’s is the recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award in Painting and has exhibited at NoHo Art Night, NoHo Hair Salon, Los Angeles; Be Bold, MRG Fine Art Gallery, Los Angeles; and Identity, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Formal Attire Only, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Tight Squeeze, Armory Center for the Arts, Los Angeles.

 

Joshua Hashemzadeh (b. 1993, Los Angeles, CA) has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work, often varying in mediums, is built around an investigation of postmodern conditions referring in detail to: millennial identity, social institution, and globalized commerce. Recent works have been featured in several exhibitions in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas with highlights being: Critique of Reason, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; BFA Undergraduate Show, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco; 32 Shades of Plastic, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Tethered, Like Minded Salon, San Francisco; Poverty & Wealth Want & Waste…, Santa Monica. 

 

Jacqueline Glosman (b. 1991, Los Angeles, CA) has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. With a key focus on the semiotics and cultural perceptions of femininity her works utilize recurring motifs such as the flower to generate dialogues around the female experience. Her canon of work aims to reveal themes of feminism, trauma, memory and mortality. Previous highlighted exhibitions include Live Girls: explorations of contemporary romance and feminism, Limited Ink Studios, Los Angeles; BFA Undergraduate Show, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco.

 Ileana Tejada. Princess Ileana vs. Lester the Molester, diptych, 30 x 22 inches each, Graphite on paper. Image Courtesy of the artist

 Ileana Tejada. Princess Ileana vs. Lester the Molester, diptych, 30 x 22 inches each, Graphite on paper. Image Courtesy of the artist

Critique of Reason

MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles

A Critique of Reason is Joshua Hashemzadeh’s third solo exhibition with MRG Fine Art. Recently obtaining a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, he presents us with a critical reflection of his experiences while in a pedagogical institution. The show takes its title from the famed literary work, “The Critique of Pure Reason” by Immanuel Kant, which evaluates the foundations and classifications of human knowledge. A premise Josh uses as the preliminary frame-work for his recent exposé, resulting in an examination of the financial burdens of higher-education, growing intellectual disparities, and the disingenuousness of industrialized accreditations.

The featured works are presented in the spirit of academic experimentation and have been accumulated throughout, as well as immediately after, Joshua Hashemzadeh’s time as an undergraduate student. Toying with materials such as physical currency, lithography, receipts, and his diploma he touches on a divide between students and their alma matter, insisting viewers re-examine the impact of institutional influence as well as the social and economic privileges associated with college-education in the United States.   

“I’m fascinated by the ways we construct value in invaluable objects. Whether its printed word, currency, or art. The receipt paintings are a result of recorded purchases that collectively account for my time in university, and ultimately the cost of my degree… Its all just proof of sale. In the end, this paper is the only tangible trace of my time there. So if merit is, in large, defined by the validation of institutions and others then its my obligation, as an artist, to provide such documentation as art itself.”

Whether looking at haptic collage or ready-made objects the works constantly insinuate a contrast between physical presence and ideological fabrications of prestige. Josh divides the gallery space between moments of austerity and aesthetic play, causing the room to become an expression of institutional duality. Thus fluctuating between traditional displays of prominence and informal depictions of artistic inquiry. This expression of autobiographical interpretation forms a contemporary critique of the “educational complex.” An entity alluded to via central installation structured to the dimensions of the late Mike Kelley’s piece, by the same name.

Joshua Hashemzadeh (b. 1993, Los Angeles, CA) has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work, often varying in mediums, is built around an investigation of postmodern conditions referring in detail to: millennial identity, social institution, and commerce. Recent works have been featured in several exhibitions in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas with recent highlights being: Formal Attire Only, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; 32 Shades of Plastic, MRG Fine Art, Los Angeles; Tethered, Like Minded Salon, San Francisco.