Hoerle-Guggenheim Contemporary, in the Chelsea Arts District of New York City, has specialized in strong process-oriented work by emerging and established artists since November 2014. They are committed to developing an international program presenting ambitious and diverse exhibitions that emphasize aesthetics and concept. They are currently showing work by Scottish artist Stuart McAlpine Miller in an exhibition entitled “Attention.” McAlpine Miller’s debut exhibition reveals his studies and revelations about American popular culture through painting.
McApline Miller combines various elements from pop culture — including advertisements, cartoon imagery, superheroes, fashion models and more — and paints them onto a canvas. These varying components are intended to reveal McAlpine Miller’s drifting interpretations of elements of popular culture in synch together. By creating a dissolving effect in his paintings, McAlpine Miller infers the notion of lost or removed memories, imaginative qualities and vanished aspirations. He manipulates the recognizable and makes it unfamiliar with imagery that suggests an unrealistic mashup of American society.
The 21st century, according to McAlpine Miller, has become its own art form. In his practice, McAlpine Miller challenges society’s meanings of beauty and merges it with images of adolescence, desire, and lust. Everything in pop culture seems to be an appropriation of reality and suggests further distance from the truest forms of each person’s imaginations and identities. McAlpine Miller’s photorealistic compositions are packed with the memories of childhood and youth, and mixed with the suggestive provocative ideas from development. Capturing trends and exploitations, McAlpine Miller brings his viewers closer to these notions of the past whilst pulling the memories away at the same time.
McAlpine Miller is attempting to share that popular culture is clogged with content that obscures each individual’s notions of reality and truth, and removes each person farther and farther away from the purity of their youth and imagination. Unlike in adolescence, fantasy in adulthood is full of provocations and eroticism. It does not include ideas of pure play, curiosity and adolescent discovery. Perversions and lust spread around like the winter flu and spark new trends which further into our social threads and existences, especially within the digital realm.
Popular culture has branded a new type of society which, in essence, finds ideas of normalcy in infected ideals and manipulated experience. We see the same people, we read the same stories over and over again, we experience the same perversions and desires as are provided to us in advertisements as well as pornography. Culture has become introduced to sexuality and lust in ways that were formerly private and not created for consumption. Popular culture, as McAlpine Miller reveals in his paintings, has become a new art form allowing for people to gawk over and touch the senses with stimulating eye candy and re-appropriated content.
Stuart McAlpine Miller’s exhibition at Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery is on view until March 30th, 2016. Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery is located at 527 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011.