August 18 - September 29, 2017
Cleveland-born artist Adam Chuck, who now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, works primarily in oil on mylar and describes his work as “both figurative and abstract; taking found photos, curated by amateur photographers and bloggers for the internet (he) re-presents the imagery to a more formal audience. By rendering them in paint at an intimate scale, Adam takes these explicit moments and presents them like specimens or a small photo like a Polaroid, examining the way many humans present themselves on the internet. The final product is an intimate twist of classic expressionism and contemporary self-portraiture.”
Because in our age social media and the internet are currencies of great importance, Quappi Projects purposefully inaugurates the gallery with Adam’s work. Fittingly, he and I “met” quite randomly through Instagram a couple of years ago; it is only because of social media that he and his work are here. We have developed what I consider to be a real - but so far virtual - friendship, which speaks both to the power and possibilities of social media but also to the power and clarity of his work.
Almost exclusively small, the phone-screen-sized works are intimate, sensual and extremely honest. Each work is an exposure, really, and is essentially about reaching out, about the deep desire to connect, and represents an attempt to know and be known. Adam’s work highlights the new ways in which human beings are trying to “only connect!” as E.M. Forster compelled us to do more than a century ago. In an age of terror and big fears, the work seems infused with knowledge of those fears, of human fragility and of the frailty of our bodies, but speaks more to basic existential human fears and the fundamental need to be desired, to be loved, to be seen, to be considered. At first glance, some of Adam's work might seem to border on the salacious, but it creeps up to that line and then walks back. Works like Close Ups, Seafoam Dream and Les is More address what we are physically and metaphysically, and call to mind Gustave Courbet’s 1866 painting Origin of the World, telegraphing both the vibrancy and vigor of the universal human experience and the essential delicateness of our little individual flesh-bound lives. Additionally, the works are a glimpse into contemporary LGBTQ culture and the ways in which social media and technology have both informed and allowed that culture to flourish and expand.
- JOHN BROOKS
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Chuck graduated from The Cleveland Institute of Art in spring of 2012 with a BFA in drawing. He has since exhibited work solo at the Institute and through Maria Neil Art Project in Cleveland's Waterloo neighborhood. He has been in several group exhibitions in Cleveland and abroad including Bazaarbeque at Forum Artspace in Cleveland, The Cozy Up Collective group show in Waterloo, Hold the Wall at the Galleries at Cleveland State University, Luke Austin's Double Vision at The High Line Loft in Manhattan, Patriartsy with Con Artist Collective in the Lower East Side, New York, and Please Disturb with Less Is More Projects, Paris, France.