Devon Reiffer Presents
Between: Removing the Boundaries of Duality
Duality: Black or white, this that, right or wrong, here or there, hot or cold, short or tall
As a society, we’ve been conditioned to believe that life, our existence, our experience is always one thing or another and can be simplified into a dualistic category. But what if it was possible to believe that we are so much more? And we started perceiving in shades of gray rather than the black and white? Between challenges you to examine your perceptions, how you’ve come to understand yourself and the world around you. This show challenges you to find your unique place and also appreciate the places of others by looking between the boundaries of the black and white and seeing the color and value in an infinite world of gray and possibility.
Join us for the Closing Reception on Thursday, August 23, 2018 from 7-9pm. Please reserve your free tickets here: https://betweenclosingreception.eventbrite.com
Centuries ago, people in power composed a system of institutions that implemented the fundamentals of social structures and were generationally modified to simplify the complexities of the human experience. Traditional norms, to some extent, have conditioned us to understand race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality through a series of definitive labels that continue to cause conflict and separation within our society.
Art, in a myriad of media, is a product of focused passion.
Passion is defined as a powerful and compelling emotion.
Because emotions are intrinsic to humans and art is a derivative of emotion, art is the universal language that is capable of surpassing social constructs.
Art is the key to achieving social change.
Charcoal is a traditional and primitive black drawing medium and gesso is a traditional white primer for canvas; the process of drawing on canvas blends the ideas of traditional and contemporary, both figuratively and literally. The works can be considered paintings, drawings, both, or neither; they fall into another gray area.
Through an additive and reductive process, I create layers of charcoal and gesso on canvas to evoke awareness and discussion surrounding the evolving gray areas of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality specific to those of the lgbtq+ community. By addressing these contemporary issues in black and white, there is a timeless and nostalgic component to the work. The monochromatic palette removes the distraction of color while providing an even platform to see each detail. While the process and content within the layers are complex, the message reflected in each work is simple: nothing remains purely black or white; everything is interconnected and each element contributes a unique and important shade of gray to the bigger picture. As an artist for social change, my only hope is to create work that connects us to our shared human experience. Regardless of what we’ve been conditioned to believe, every one has a place, a purpose, and adds a valuable contribution by living and loving authentically. In making the choice to see our commonalities over our differences, we will change the world together.
As an artist in 2018, it is pertinent to make work that spreads compassion while raising awareness of issues that are not often represented in the main stream media. With art, we have the ability to educate viewers on important social issues such as sexual assault and social injustice within the queer community. This type of visibility can further validate these underrepresented narratives and break their social stigmas.
Inspired by my personal experience of being raised in a conservative southern family, and currently living in Georgia as a queer woman, my recent body of work exposes queer identities and fosters acceptance. The titles of my works illuminate the stereotypes cast onto the queer community while eliminating the small minded stigmas associated with them. In these 8.5 by 11 inch screen prints, I depict multiple identities within the queer community that are often belittled and disrespected by heteronormative ideals. Some prints shows two women kissing while other images depict portraits of drag queens. These prints are meant to bring attention to sexual and verbal assault surrounding our community. I aim to amplify the narratives of nonconforming queer identities, while bringing awareness and compassion to the community as a whole.