Arcade is pleased to present an online augmented reality exhibition by Los Angeles based artist John Finneran, kindly hosted at VORTIC COLLECT as part of the LONDON COLLECTIVE.
Here Finneran has gathered new paintings that contemplate the time he has spent traveling in the Southwest since his relocation from New York to LA four years ago. Where there was the Lower East Side, the ocean in South Jersey and the walk over the Williamsburg Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, now there is New Mexico, Tucson, Big Bend National Park, the Rio Grande in Texas, the drive back to LA along the border – these are Finneran’s new subjects.
“There’s something I keep telling myself about my work, to help me remember what I’m doing: the world is not a symbol for something else in the world. I try not to paint as if the thing I’m painting is somewhere else. I try not to paint myself an explanation, that I explain to you, of something that is happening somewhere where we are not. Where the painting isn’t and you wouldn’t recognize if you haven’t been where I’ve been…
…On a night like this, I was driving through the desert having never been there before. I was scared of the landscape, Bad America. I saw two new things at the same time. I moved across the US in late 2015 and stepped into geography that didn’t look like anything I was used to at the same time we found out the hearts of our neighbors are so much crueler than we could have hoped or feared. I felt like I got in the car “before” and by the time I got out in California it was “after.” But that was just the timing for me. Lots of people stayed put, and their backyards and neighborhoods changed shape. Suddenly you could see all the shadows that had always been there.
What’s the point if you don’t see the shadows creep up, or the sun come out? I know how it feels when you finish a days work and you can’t tell if anything got better. But, I’d like to be here to say what I saw and what I believe in because I do think that’s what matters. The Magical World, the blue and pink sky at dawn, the cowboy painting above the fireplace at the hotel, the puma sticking its head out of the bushes to look me in the face and turn away uninterested, the cricket that jumped out of the bushes and almost into my mouth, lucky to be here, even by myself. Seeing the things that you’ve read about because other people lived there and wrote about them reminds you that you can give yourself to your friends and to strangers by recording for them where you were and what you did. I clarify my thoughts and feel camaraderie in the Magical World when I look at a picture or read that poem. Other travelers were dreaming the same dreams and taking care with the world. We do it too, for each other, and onward…”
John Finneran (October 2020)
John Finneran (b.1979, US) lives and works in Los Angeles. He graduated from The Cooper Union, New York in 2002 and Bard College, New York in 2004. Recent exhibitions include those at: Arcade London & Brussels (2019); 47 Canal, New York, US (2017); Tatjana Pieters, Ghent, BE (2017); Moma PS1, New York, US (2016); Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles, US (2016); White Cube, London, UK (2015); Office Baroque, Brussels, BE (2014).
London Collective is a new section on the Vortic Collect app, bringing together 40 of the UK’s leading commercial galleries to present exhibitions on the new extended reality app for the art world. In the London Collective section of the Vortic Collect app, galleries will show specially curated presentations, providing them with an additional virtual space to complement their physical gallery programmes. The new initiative enables galleries to support one another by sharing their audiences and enables visitors to simulate the experience of visiting multiple London gallery locations.
The Vortic Collect app is available to download from the App Store and the Vortic VR app will be available for download from the Oculus Store from late summer 2020.