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.