• Michael Antkowiak
    Room with Drapery, 2008
    Oil on wood panel
    20 X 30 inches

Medium Cool

March 7—April 12, 2008

Carrie Secrist Gallery is pleased to announce a two-person show of work by Joy Episalla and Michael Antkowiak. Both artists are concerned with depictions of intimate realities—whether portrayed in the manner of a hidden domestic web cam or as reflected in the physical medium of a television. As Electronic Age prophet Marshall McLuhan describes, television is a “cool” medium—one that is challenging for the viewer to engage with in a deeper, more meaningful way.

When turned on, the television transports you to another world—when off, it puts you face-to-face with extremely personal realities. Episalla is drawn to the strange self-reflection that occurs when the ever-present television is turned off. Suddenly, “you’re confronted with where you are” and reality is captured on the screen of the very machine that creates fantasy. Her work is located in the interstices of sculpture and photography. As she travels around the world, Episalla photographs her hotel room television screens that reflect her surroundings. Her pieces are chromogenic prints mounted to plexiglas with wood frames. When installed, they appear like mounted objects.

Joy Episalla’s work has been exhibited in the US and internationally including the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio; The Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans; The Phoenix Art Museum; Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels, and at Studio 1.1 in London. She is a 2003 recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.

Michael Antkowiak’s paintings address the art-historical notion of the gaze in the contemporary world of mass media. There is an inherent voyeuristic quality to his style that stems from his technique of photo documenting his subjects performing daily routines or appropriating photography from the Internet or film stills. Antkowiak’s aesthetic emulates the optical qualities of photography and video—both media that allow an expansion of access into private lives.

A recent addition to Secrist Gallery’s stable of young painters, Michael Antkowiak’s work has already been placed in numerous private collections of note and will be exhibited extensively throughout the US, Canada and Europe in 2008.