Craig Drennen, New Mistress vs old Athenians at Brooklyn Fire Proof

Craig Drennen at Brooklyn Fire Proof

September 8th, 2015 -October 9th, 2015
Opening reception on September 11th, 6-10 pm

Temporary Storage Gallery at Brooklyn Fire Proof
119 Ingraham St., Ground Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11237
Gallery hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6 or by appointment.

“In New Mistress vs Old Athenians, Drennen juxtaposes the characters of two prostitutes (combined as a singular Mistress in his depictions), and an Athenian man. Drennen’s Mistress paintings always feature a realistic oil painting, with anatomically-specific jpg submissions from anonymous adults acting as the reference source. The realism of the subject is contrasted by a bold black line painted directly on the wall, forming a path that reads as stage directions or a sports play (sports imagery is not far off the mark–Drennen’s representation of one character features a basketball, a 24-second-clock and a sporty “Hello” rendered in an athletic font). His Old Athenian portraits are composed of a printed photographic image of Udo Kier as Dracula in Warhol’s Blood of Dracula. The image is subjected to “as many stages of mediation and mechanical reproduction as possible,” says Drennen. He photographs Kier’s face as it appears on the television screen playing the DVD of the film.

The Mistress character was the first Drennen explored and has not gotten a new addition since 2010, which is when Drennen began portraying Old Athenian. This is the first installation putting these characters together, and they never share the stage in Shakespeare’s play. The title of the show suggests adversary, a standoff, which Drennen accentuates by installing his Mistress painting facing off against the Old Athenians. From a statement by the artist, “Any combination of characters can be exhibited together at any time so that the exhibition environment becomes a “stage” where the characters must visually and conceptually interact.” Drennen says that these two characters staged together produce a set of binaries he finds interesting–“The “new” vs. the “old,” the hand painted vs. the mechanically derived, representation vs. reductive abstraction, and so on.””

-from the Exhibition press release

For more information visit: